By Stephanie Dolan
Penney Bray, of Indy’s Southside, has been an accountant for the state for 13 years. During that time, she was also a member of the Beech Grove Moose Lodge. This is where she met Terry Sellars.
“I’ve known Terry for going on two years now,” Bray said.
Together, the pair have started a new nonprofit, One Love Charity, Inc.
“When we decided to do One Love, our whole point and aspect to it was to help people who are in need,” Bray said. “I’ve had some very hard times being a single mom and not working. I don’t want anyone to go through the struggles that I had to. I’m hoping that One Love will get up and going to help people who are truly in need. I think right now is the perfect time for One Love to make things a little bit easier for others. I think I’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do.”
“I’ve lost three brothers to cancer, and you walk around this city and you see people all over the place who need help,” Sellars said. “What little bit we can do to help someone else is advantageous to everyone. I’ve always been a giver, per se. We want to try to make a small difference if we can.”
A SUCCESSFUL FIRST FUNDRAISER
This past October, One Love Charity, Inc. held a car show for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and raised over $6,000.
“It was phenomenal,” Sellars said.
“We had an amazing turnout,” Bray said. “We never anticipated it would be as big as it was. It was held at Manual High School, and we developed a really good rapport with them. We’ll be holding our annual car show to benefit St. Jude at Manual from now on.”
Bray and Sellars were also inspired by another friend who would have been a third team member at One Love, Roberta Shelton, otherwise known as “Birdie.”
INSPIRATION FROM A LATE FRIEND
“We met her through (Beech Grove) Moose as well,” Bray said. “She is the one who inspired me to do fundraisers. I just sat back and watched her. She did a lot of celebration of life and fundraising for people who didn’t have money to bury their family members. It amazed me how she dedicated hours on end to do raffles to make sure families had money to bury their loved ones. She and I talked about it, and she said that I could do the same. I just started doing the same thing she was doing. I had a fundraiser for my sister last September. We had a phenomenal outpouring of love and support. It went very, very well, and I’m just grateful that everyone we reach out to has a giving, loving heart and wants to help.”
Sellars said that Shelton was one of the first people in the state to pass away from COVID.
“Birdie was a very good fundraiser and was a great friend of Penney’s,” he said. “Her death affected a lot of people. When Penney and I talked about this, Birdie was going to be a part of it as well, but COVID took her away from that. That’s a tragedy. She was a very giving lady.”
March 16, 2021 will mark one year since Birdie passed.
“At that time, I’m going to host a huge celebration of life in honor of Birdie,” Bray said.
But that’s not One Love’s only plan for the future.
“We’ll be blessing four families for Thanksgiving,” Bray said.
One Love Charity, Inc. will be providing Thanksgiving dinner to four familiar in need this Thanksgiving.
“We will also be doing raffles for Christmas fundraising,” Bray said. “I’ve been trying to find a place to do a craft fair but with COVID I can’t rent out clubhouses and it’s been difficult to get that done. Trying to get people together with COVID guidelines – it’s been very difficult and a challenge. We’re going to do Facebook raffles, and getting One Love a website is also on my to-do list.”
“We hope to be able to give and help people as much as we can,” Sellars said. “That’s the goal of any charity is to be successful at what they do. I hope for a very successful year of One Love in our community.”
Bray said that, so far, she’s been blown away by the outpouring of love and support from the community in One Love’s fundraising.
“I’m forever grateful,” she said. “I hope this will be ongoing.”
“One Love is a very new charity,” Sellars said. “We could use all the support and volunteering that we can get from community members. We plan on doing this for years to come.”
Donations can be made through Teachers Credit Union under One love Charity, Inc.