Jennifer Hudson is turning a terrible tragedy into something positive.
The singer and her sister, Julia Hudson, hosted over 8,000 students last week for an event called Annual Hatch Day Celebration in honor of Julian King, Julia’s son and Jennifer’s nephew, who was killed in 2008, according to Yahoo Celebrity.
The event provides less fortunate students in the Chicago area with school supplies and is held every year in commemoration of Julian’s birthday, which he had nicknamed “hatch day.” The Julian D. King Gift Foundation focuses on educational tools for the less fortunate because of Julian’s love for school.
“We want these kids to know that we are here for them and paying attention to their needs,” the Dreamgirls actress said to Yahoo. “If one child walks away with that feeling, then we’ve been successful.”
Jennifer also talked about the excitement she is feeling for her own child to start school soon. “Right now he likes counting,” she said of her 5-year-old son, David Daniel Otunga, Jr. “He has had a blast this summer though. It was a very good summer vacation.”
The Hudsons have managed to stay strong, despite the tragedy that rocked their family nearly six years ago. In October of 2008, Jennifer and Julia’s mother and brother, in addition to Julian, were found shot to death. In May of 2012, William Balfour was found guilty of the murders and Jennifer herself testified in the trial. Balfour, Julia’s ex-husband, received a mandatory life sentence for his conviction.
“I keep holding on to things that they taught us. My mother and even my brother,” Jennifer told Oprah in 2011. “The only thing I can do to honor their memory is to make them proud. I keep thinking, ‘Would my mother like this or that, would she want this?'”
We’d say Jennifer is doing a pretty amazing job making her family proud.