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The Gift Of Giving Back

An Inspirational Holiday Story About Homelessness, Being Blessed & Paying It Forward

This is one of those feel good stories, that is a pleasure to report. The story of a young lady named, Keya Sewer, who was down of her luck and had to go to a shelter. It was the shelter and it’s services that really made a major difference in her life. Once they helped her get back on her feet and her life back on track, all she wanted to do was give back and pay it forward.

On Friday, December 18th, Ms. Lakeya ‘Keya’ Sewer did just that. She joined together with MaMa’s Women With Voice’s, TR Insurance, Keya’s Kitchen, Sweet Candy Designs, Freddy Finesse Mobile Car Wash & Detailing to be a blessing and bring Christmas to The Children’s Rescue Fund (CRF) located at 1520 Brook Ave in the Bronx. They brought toys and pampers for over 125 children, making sure no child was left behind. They also gave out hygiene stockings for each parent, containing toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and more.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others,” Marguerite Sims of MaMa’s Women With Voices and a good friend of Keya’s tells Black Westchester. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest Act of Caring, all of which have the potential to turn life around.

Marguerite (left) and Keya (right)

Ms. Keya Sewer used to live at the CRF – Icahn House and with the services they provide, she is now doing her thing. With their great support, she is currently a small Black Business owner of Keya’s Kitchen. But she never forgot where she came from and wanted to really be a blessing now.

“I was 23-years-old at the time and my oldest son was 4-years-old. I had fallen on hard times and could no longer stay with family,” Keya shares with Black Westchester. “I rode the D train for 2 hours before an older lady stopped and asked what was wrong. I told I was scared and homeless. I was afraid to go the EAU – DHS’ Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) because I had heard so many horror stories of it being unsafe. But the lady convinced me to go and she prayed over both of us. I walked into EAU, not knowing what to expect. I was placed at 1520 Brook Ave, Icahn House Children’s Rescue Fund and they help me get my life back on track with budgeting since I did work and housing. So today I wanted to help out in any way I can.”

Homelessness is not the type of thing many like to think or talk about during the holiday season. Especially in Westchester, one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Yet, is a growing problem in our community but often one we overlook when it doesn’t touch our doorstep or affect our day to day life. The number of working homeless is increasing.

While we celebrate the holidays in our homes with our families, we can not forget those less fortunate. The challenge for many young parents who are homeless is exacerbated by the lack of family support services for minors and young adults who are homeless with their children. Although the research shows that pregnant women and young parents often seek and receive support, many homeless youth providers do not serve young parents, and many family shelter providers do not serve parents who are minors.

I know we read about this but I wanted to give it more of a personal feel not just a bunch of numbers and data. One of our readers brought this to my attention and I immediately wanted to share this story.

Keya reached out to Marguerite with her intentions and Marguerite reached out to Tamika Rose of TR Insurance and together they made Keya’s dream of giving back on the holidays a reality.

“While they were providing the food and essentials for the adults, I wanted to make sure the children were taking care of,” Ms. Rose shared with Black Westchester. “I believe every child should have a toy on Christmas regardless of their circumstances.”

About CRF- ICAHN HOUSE: Icahn House is a transitional housing facility in the Bronx that services 65 homeless women and their children under 13 years old. The program provides case management, client care coordinator services, and housing assistance aimed to assist families with securing and maintaining permanent housing. In addition, Board of Education, Child Care, and After School/ Recreation along with Security Services are provided onsite. 

The Children’s Rescue Fund is a 501(C)(3) Not for Profit organization that seeks to enrich the lives of less fortunate families by providing shelter and self-development services to the men, women, and children we serve. CRF welcomes monetary and in-kind donations, as well as, donations of time and volunteered services. Every gift provided will be used to strategically assist and support our clients. Click here to see how you can help and contribute.

Black Westchester is proud to spotlight Keya Sewer for reminding us of the gift of giving, looking out for those less fortunate then ourselves, not forgetting where we come from and when we are blessed never forgetting to pay if forward. One of the greatest gifts for the holidays is the gift of giving back.

“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a humbling difference in the lives of others,” Marguerite Sims shares in reflecting on Keya’s commitment of giving back.

Lekeya Sewer is now a personal chef and caterer, based out of Yonkers. For more info and to support this Black Business email or call (718) 674-2036. She serves the tri-state area. We must support Black Businesses that support the community.


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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