• MSBQ

Serving the homeless on Black Friday

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

The 3rd annual Hats and Hot Tea was hosted on Black Friday, Nov. 29. The event is an outreach initiative to serve the homeless on a day when shoppers will be spending money.

In 2016, Eric Brinson, Melvin Rucker and Amelia Pearson wanted to give back during the Thanksgiving season. At the time, they were college students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

Brinson said, “It is always a pleasure serving the city of Memphis. We successfully completed year 3 of the Hats & Hot Tea Black Friday Giveaway and the feeling is still as sweet as the first event.”

3rd annual Hats and Hot Tea Black Friday Giveaway - Photo Credit: Jet Eye Photography

Volunteers and local business owners helped to give away hygiene items, clothing and a hot meal which consisted of shrimp & grits, grilled chicken, fried chicken and french fries. Homeless men and women gathered at 10:00 a.m. to be served.

Brandon Brown, executive chef said, "It was a great opportunity to give back to the less fortunate.  I enjoy seeing young Black entrepreneurs come together in a city we grew up in and give back to our community.  I will be back every year ready to share off different meals for the people."

Eric Ryan Brinson and Leonard Holcombe - Photo Credit: Jet Eye Photography

Leonard Holcombe, co-organizer, partnered with Brinson last year and now they are working as a team to increase awareness and to give back on Black Friday.

To learn more about Hats and Hot Tea, contact Eric Brinson at

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