Story by Ryan Labadens on 01/08/2019For some people, spreading a little holiday cheer is as much of a joy for the giver as it is for the receiver. One person in particular who likes to be on the giving end of the holiday-cheer spreading is Brillia Hudson, a resident living onboard Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, Mississippi.
For many of the holidays throughout the year, Hudson prepares meals or treats that she brings around to the various departments on base, all in the spirit of giving back to the military community and spreading a little holiday joy.
"I love to cook, and I always liked to give back to others. So every holiday I like to try to give the security troops at the gate, or the fire department, or maintenance, housing, and people in other departments a little something, whether it's a meal or treats, like candy or cookies, just to brighten their day," said Hudson.
Hudson, who originally grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, is the widow of James William Hudson, Sr., a U.S. Army engineer who died while serving during the Vietnam War. The couple had four children together, and upon her husband's death, Hudson decided to continue pursuing her goal of becoming a teacher. She initially taught at a few schools in Gulfport and Florida before she and her children moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she finished up her 40 years in education teaching at Berkley Middle School.
Now that her children are all grown and she's retired from teaching, Hudson decided to move back to Gulfport in 2011 and started living in NCBC base housing back in 2014.
The 74-year-old retired school teacher said that serving is something she always enjoyed doing, whether it was volunteering through her church, other military- or non-military-affiliated organizations, or just on her own.
"It makes me feel good to do something to help out people in whatever little ways I can. I just like the idea of helping people, period," said Hudson. "When I was teaching, sometimes you'd have kids in your class who may be homeless or not have the opportunity to have a Thanksgiving meal, so I always liked helping them out in that way. And now after 40 years of teaching, I have this community here on the base to help out however I can."