Detroit boys get gifts for 1st holiday without mom

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Southfield — Their mother was taken from them, but three young Detroiters may have a brighter holiday due to the efforts of 30 strangers.

After hearing about the shooting death of Mary Spears, members of the Southfield alumni chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha raised $700 to buy gifts for Spears’ three sons this holiday season.

On Tuesday morning, the three boys — Jamarion, 10, and JaKarii Spears, 5, as well as Christopher Houston, 1 — were brought to the Target store at 13 Mile and Southfield for an unexpected shopping spree that was kind of under false pretenses.

“Their fathers, Chris Houston and Adrian Hill, brought them to the store and the boys were told they were shopping for some other kids that were their ages,” said James Jackson, spokesman for the fraternity.

“We asked them what they thought the other boys would like, so they ended up purchasing footballs, basketballs, a baseball bat and Ninja Turtle stuff.”

The boys were also taught a little bit about budgeting, according to Jackson.

“We walked them around the store and they looked at different prices,” said Jackson of Novi. “They also ended up buying clothes as well.”

The money stretched even farther when the store manager discounted everything by 10 percent.

At the end of the shopping trip, the boys were complimented on their selections and then were told “hey, guess what? All of this is actually for you.”

Mary Spears was shot Oct. 5 after she allegedly rejected the advances of a man at a club on the city’s east side. According to reports, the 38-year-old man was escorted outside.

He later opened fire on a crowd, police say, hitting Spears in the head. Three other women, ages 23, 32 and 41, as well as two men, ages 28 and 30, were wounded.

Police arrested Mark Dorch in the shooting. He has been charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to commit murder. His trial is expected to begin Feb. 9.

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