By Rhonda Oswald
Essie “Big Mama” Reed, known for 30 years of her charitable contributions to the community, received the surprise of her life on Friday.
On December 18, Reed arrived at Off Lease Only in North Lauderdale believing she was picking up toys donated to her nonprofit organization, Team of Life, for their annual Christmas drive.
However, when she arrived, not only did they donate toys to her charity, a 2017 Silver Dodge Journey was waiting for her.
DJ Alex “Biglip” Chisholm from Hot 105.1 and Monique Hausheer, marketing director of Off Lease Only, organized the surprise.
“We have to give back to someone as amazing as you,” said Hausheer.
Reed was overwhelmed with tears and expressed how thankful she was for the special gift.
“Now, I don’t have to worry about how I will move around,” she said, adding, ” I feel so loved.”
Before Reed left with the car, she received a gift of free auto insurance for a year along with $1,000 from the Chisholm’s lipfoundation.org to help her organization.
“Even when Reed needed it, she never used money from her organization to help herself, ” said Chisholm.
North Lauderdale Mayor Ana M. Ziade, who was in attendance, expressed her love and gratitude for all the work Reed has done for the community and offered her help in any way she can.
Mindy Gallagher, with Off Lease Only, said Big Mama is a pillar of the community and someone that is so selfless and goes without, to make sure others have.”
When asked, “What does this do for her mission by having a car,” Reed joked, “It helps me roll, baby.”
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Rhonda Byfield Oswald is a writer with a Bachelor's Degree from Long Island University.
She was born and raised in Brooklyn , New York and moved to North Lauderdale, Florida in 2015. She is passionate about hard news and politics and plans to pursue a career as a television anchor in the future.
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