‘Demetrius Giveaway’ a boon to Eden Green residents

| March 12, 2014
Darnell Masterson-Bey (right) works at the clothing giveaway he organized at Eden Green.

Darnell Masterson-Bey (right) works at the clothing giveaway he organized at Eden Green.

FORT WAYNE—There’s hope and people who care. That was the message folks in a central city got an opportunity to hear thanks to a caring brother and his family recently.

On March 1, residents of Eden Green and others passing through got a chance to get some much-needed and appreciated clothing and food free of charge thanks to the Demetrius Giveaway. Organized by Brother Darnell Masterson-Bey—and named in memory of his late brother Demetrius Lamar Masterson—the giveaway was designed as a gift.

“The purpose of the giveaway was to embrace people in our community with love and joy, help families in need and to also share common values on positive difference for change,” explained Masterson-Bey.

The giveaway included a wide variety of children’s, men’s and women’s clothing, including some much-need winter coats. Masterson-Bey said he and family members cleaned, sized and tagged all the items to make sure they were well-catalogued and laid out for the giveaway. Family, including his nephew, all worked at the giveaway.

While he acknowledge his role as the organizer, Masterson-Bey did what many say is a much-needed work with no personal fanfare. In fact, he initially approached a number of community-based organizations, preferring to work through them. He said he wasn’t looking for accolades—he just wanted a vehicle to give away clothing he and others have been collecting through the years at various yard sales and other bargain events. But, that didn’t work out, so he stepped out on his own, approaching the management at Eden Green, who were open to doing something that would benefit residents.

“I decided to do the giveaway to build my true values of helping and asking for nothing in return to show the community it’s about them, not about my well-being or some organization’s benefit, because things don’t get done when it’s about that,” said Masterson-Bey.

Family members help Darnell Masterson-Bey (left) to distribute free food during the clothing giveaway in Eden Green.

Family members help Darnell Masterson-Bey (left) to distribute free food during the clothing giveaway in Eden Green.

Eden Green provided the perfect opportunity to demonstrate those ideas.

“The reason I chose Eden Green is because I was depending on others to partner with for a community get together of leaders, but it seemed to be about their well-being and not the community’s. I felt Eden Green wouldn’t be biased about helping people in need,” he said.

Staff offered him the office building for the giveaway, which also included free hot dogs and other snacks for anyone wanting them.

Emphasizing the message that the work is about the people and not about individual “leaders” and organizations, Masterson-Bey said he would like to see other people take it upon themselves to do whatever they can to help build the community—and he’s willing to work with anyone who is honestly try to help people in need, as long as the people genuinely are doing it for the well-being of the community.

Masterson-Bey said he wants to continue trying to help.

“I plan to do another Demetrius Giveaway real soon, within a couple of months, but there’s so much to get done,” he said, help would be welcome. “I’m willing to work with anyone to make a change or positive impact on our community.”

And, he expressed his gratitude for the help he received at Eden Green.

“Thank you to all supporters and family. Peace and blessings.”

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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