Hope for Harvest turned tragedy into a beacon of inspiration

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In 1973, Casey Brewton was shot and killed in Charlotte’s Double Oaks community, leaving his wife, Barbara, alone to raise their three small children.  Barbara Brewton moved away and vowed never to return to the neighborhood.

“After our departure from this community, (my mom) saw the suffering that was taking place,” her daughter, Catherine Brewton, said.  “In the '80s the crack epidemic really decimated black America, and kids were suffering.”

Barbara Brewton-Cameron defied drug gangs in the 1980s to clean up one of Charlotte’s most vicious neighborhoods. Cameron received national acclaim for the work she did fighting crime in the Double Oaks community.  City officials later renamed the area Genesis Park for its new beginning.

“She rented a house in the neighborhood and began feeding the children in the community,” Brewton said.  “She was one of the most selfless people you would ever meet."

Brewton-Cameron died on Dec. 5, 2008. 

Days after her mother’s death, Brewton knew that she needed to continue her mother’s mission to serve the less fortunate.   

Now nearly a decade later, Hope for Harvest stands in tribute to the legacy of Barbara Brewton-Cameron. 

“We did a free summer camp for about 50 kids, and we will provide an after-school program.” Brewton said.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Hope for Harvest gave away 1,000 turkeys and fed hundreds of less fortunate and homeless people.

Hope for Harvest has served as a beacon of community advancement for families in Charlotte for over 40 years and provides necessary living items for underserved youth through music, dance and life development training. 

"We want Hope for Harvest to be a safe haven,” Brewton said.  “It's about people coming together to say we want to make a difference in our community.”

Learn more about its programs at www.HopeForHarvest.org

If you have an inspiring story to share, please email Kevin Campbell, community affairs manger for WSOC-TV, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com

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