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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 18 February 2013

Four-year-old Terrance Burton, (front row center with hood up) and a few of his friends at McCoy Academy

One January evening, Rochell "Ro Deezy" Hart, was about to read to her four-year-old son, Terrance, when out of the blue he asked her, "Mommy, do people really eat from trash cans?"

Hart explained that poor people sometimes have no money to buy food, and said that's why it's important to pray for people in that situation. Twenty minutes later, Hart says, Terrance returned to the subject and said he had an idea. He wanted to raise money to help people who have no food. Inspired by her son's compassion, Hart decided to organize an event to raise support for Portland Rescue Mission.

"The Terrance Feed", named for Terrance Burton Jr., was held Saturday afternoon, Feb. 16, at the McCoy Academy, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. More than 60 people signed in to the event, donating more than $500, so far, for Portland Rescue Mission.  Donations are still coming in, Hart says, promising the  final total will be listed on the event's Facebook page, by March 1.

Hart, an author, biographer and spoken word artist, performed at the event along with several other artists, including Blaque Butterfly and Toni Hill of Siren's Echo.  Among the audience were, David Jackson, aka DJ OG One, and his family; zine author and film critic David Walker; Terrance's pre-K teacher, his pediatrican and his grandparents, Terry and Vickie Hart, who recently returned to Oregon from New Jersey.  McCoy Academy donated space for the event.

"The reality is people need blankets downtown," the boy's father Terrance Burton Sr., told the audience. "Everybody is going to go home after this, but there is somebody that is going to be cold tonight, that needs a blanket. You may not be able to give money, but Bless God, you may be able to give blankets or something like that. If you have extra coats – please—you can take them to Portland Rescue Mission. You can take them to Transition Projects; you can take them to Union Gospel Mission…Those are the main spots to take them to."

The event was not the first fundraiser for Terrance. He was just three years old when his pre-K class raised $286 for childcare scholarships for low-income families.

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