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Jefferson Awards: Helping East Bay Families In Need

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Teray Frederick

Teray Frederick (CBS)

HAYWARD (CBS 5) – Teray Frederick has transformed her Hayward home into a headquarters for giving. As her two daughters neared adulthood, she made a new commitment to serve her community.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I was always raising kids, doing the wife thing and taking care of home,” Frederick explains.

In 2008, Frederick founded the Ascending Sisters Social Club. The nonprofit collects clothes and food and donates them to hundreds of low-income people, mostly in Oakland. Her eight volunteers help her decide which neighborhood to serve next.

“Oakland needs uplifting – someone to grasp and hug the whole city,” Frederick said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Besides the clothes and food distribution every other month, the Ascending Sisters Social Club also hosts backpack giveaways, Christmas toy drives, and HIV prevention awareness events with local biker clubs. Frederick, a medical assistant, said serving her community just feels right.

“I used to repossess cars, and I did not like taking,” Frederick said, laughing at the memory. “My boss used to tell me, ‘We’re not gonna get this money if you keep making these itty bitty payment arrangements,” and I did it for nine years and it killed me.”

Growing up, Frederick said she was inspired by her parents’ and grandmother’s generosity: “Our door was always open to people that didn’t have.”

Her father, Louis Stone, describes her as selfless, even as a child.

“She would give her candy away,” Stone remembered. “I’d buy her something and she’d give it to somebody else.”

Today, Frederick’s compassion for the poor moves her fellow volunteers, like Tonja Fuller-Bryant.

“She’s always moving to make sure everyone gets something. No one’s left out,” said Fuller-Bryant.

Another volunteer, Tina Brown-Pruitt, said she’s honored to pray and serve with Frederick.

“She’s a leader, God-giving, heartfelt, tenacious… she just has so much love in her heart,” said Brown-Pruitt.

Frederick added, “I feel as though I’m doing what God has in store for me to do. I don’t see it any other way.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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