7:49 PM EDT, August 14, 2012
Chicago native Jennifer Hudson was in town Tuesday to host the second annual "Hatch Day" at the Kroc Community Center.
Hudson and her sister donated school supplies to 5,000 low-income Chicago students. The sisters hope the donated supplies will give children confidence to start the new school year.
The event honors Hudson’s late nephew, Julian King, who was shot and killed in 2008 along with Hudson’s mother and brother.
In what is considered her first public remarks following the Hudson family murder trial, Hatch Day was an emotional one for Hudson. Choking back tears, Hudson could hardly hold it together as she talked about what this day means to her.
Julian coined the term "Hatch Day." It was, Hudson says, a reason to celebrate, create and share something – anything -- with one another. The Hudson family used to bake cakes and have a party when they celebrated Hatch Day.
Tuesday would have been Julian's 11th birthday. In fact, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaimed August 14 to be "Julian King Hatch Day” in Chicago.
Taking time out of her busy schedule to fly to Chicago for the event, she claims she wouldn't have it any other way. This was a day she couldn’t miss.
"What's the point of being who you are if you can't make a difference? If you can't help someone else?” Hudson said.