LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -A well-loved media personality returned to Lake Charles today for a book and toy giveaway for child survivors of the hurricanes.
She also paid respects to five family members who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after Hurricane Laura.
“God bless you, we’re thinking about you. Four more!” hollered Sheletta Smith Brundidge as she directed another car through the line to pick up children’s books and plush toys.
Brundidge is one of those people who seems to make everybody feel better.
The media personality, formerly a resident of Lake Charles, now lives in Minnesota. But she came in her RV with husband, Shawn and four kids, for a book and toy giveaway for children who went through the hurricanes.
A steady stream of cars passed through the Calcasieu Central Library parking lot where her words and gifts brought smiles.
“I think she’s helping a lot of people,” said nine-year-old Gabriella Prescott.
And there were tears.
Sheletta comforted a woman moved to tears when she found out she’d be getting a case of books and plush toys.
“We came here to be a blessing to you, not for you to be cryin'. We want you to know we have not forgotten about you. Do you understand? Minnesota loves Lake Charles,” said Sheletta.
Teacher Amanda Hofstetter was there to get books and toys for her students.
“My classroom was gone so this will help, truly a bunch. And I truly appreciate this,” she said.
But besides giving out books and plushies, Sheletta came to pay respects to five relatives who died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator after Hurricane Laura. She hopes to promote awareness.
“You can see flames, if the house is on fire. A neighbor may run in and save you. But if it’s carbon monoxide, nobody can see that. It’s just as important to have those carbon monoxide detectors as it is to have those smoke detectors in the home,” said Brundidge.
And she wants to carry on the legacy of her departed family members who she says were givers.
“My family had a history of giving and donating for causes and things that were close and near and dear to their hearts. And so I want to carry on their legacy and so I stand here as an ambassador to Rosa Lewis, Charles Lewis and Clyde Handy and Kimberly Evans and Chris Evans. I carry on their memory and their legacy of giving and helping Southwest Louisiana. And that’s why I’m back here today,” she said.
Sheletta 's book giveaway included one she wrote for her daughter who has autism called “Cameron Goes to School.” It’s about being brave and strong no matter what you face.
Sheletta says she hopes her book will inspire parents of children with special needs.
And she hopes her hurricane relief giveaway will help others heal.
She also brought books by other Minnesota authors and toys made in Minnesota. In all, there were 1000 books and 500 toys given away between 9 a.m. and noon Friday.