Lending a hand at holidays
Sada Breland wiped away tears while she stood at center court during halftime of the Orlando Magic’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
She was surrounded by family members and her children — Montrell Hartwell (10), Michelle Hartwell (9), Cedric Hartwell (8) and Chy’Mere Hartwell (7) — as they were surprised with gifts valued at hundreds of dollars.
Breland hugged former Magic player Bo Outlaw and Magic president of business operations Charlie Freeman as each gift was revealed. The Breland have been through many struggles.
Shortly after moving to Central Florida years ago, Breland lost her child to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
In 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed the family’s mobile home. She didn’t have any insurance. Breland and her family bounced from efficiency hotel to efficiency hotel. She worked as an Uber driver to try to make ends meet.
Life started to change for her in February.
Her family joined the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. In July, Breland entered the Rapid Rehousing Program and she moved into a new home in August.
And on Monday, Breland and her four healthy children were surprised by the Orlando Magic during the franchise’s annual promotion called “The Big Give.”
The Magic were joined by Disney, Corkcicle, Pepsi, Papa John’s, Hilton and Olive Garden, showering the Breland family with gifts.
Corkcicle provided a $500 gift card, Pepsi provided free Aquafina for a entire year, Papa John’s gave the family free pizza, Hilton presented the family a two-night stay at any domestic Hilton property, Olive Garden provided a $100 gift card and Disney gave them “Park Hopper” passes.
Breland started a new job at KFC and was recently promoted to shift manager. She would like to eventually go back to school to become a CNA or a home health aide.
“We have a home again. When we fell down, we were able to get back up — and that’s a huge achievement,” she said in a statement.