Community Spirit--Sadie Brown and Lorne Gilbert

Sadie Brown and Lorne Gilbert
Sadie Brown and Lorne Gilbert

All of her life, Sadie Brown has volunteered and she taught her sons to do the same thing. But for the last two years, she's put her work into overdrive.

You might remember when a car hit and killed a very popular radio personality, Brandon Brown, as he walked home. It's the kind of heartbreak that no parent should experience. Many times this kind of tragedy can destroy the loved ones left behind. But Brandon's mother and brother have found a way to go on and they're changing many lives.

There is no way to describe what a mother feels when she outlives her child. "It's like a part you dies," Sadie said.

But she and her son Lorne Gilbert were determined to live on and find ways to honor Brandon through their work. Last week they gave out 50 Thanksgiving baskets to families living in public housing. This is just one of their many community giveaways.

"It's not just on the holidays, it's when the need is," said Sadie. "Because he didn't do it for the holidays, he did it when the need arise."

They are continuing the good works that Brandon started. Like offering free haircuts to underprivileged little boys and giving hundreds of book bags filled with supplies to students in need. They've held clothing drives and given scholarships to students who are tops in the classroom, in music and volunteers in the community.

"This would make Brandon so happy, so happy to know that we're still doing something for the good of the community," said Sadie. "He would feel each of the children would go back to school feeling so good about themselves."

They are constantly finding ways to improve the lives of the people Brandon loved the most, those who worked hard but couldn't seem to catch a break.

"To a big extent, I think it's him that is guiding us," said Lorne.

"I'm doing it for my self-gratification," said Sadie.

Whatever the reason, our community is better for it. That's how Sadie Brown and Lorne Gilbert capture the WTOC Community Spirit.

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com.