Hudson in Chicago to raise money for kids

April 1, 2010 4:43:51 AM PDT
No matter how famous she gets, actress Jennifer Hudson keeps Chicago in her heart. The Oscar and Grammy-winning star returned to her hometown Wednesday and spent time with kids who are in an organization that she is helping to raise money for.

There was a big surprise in store for these kids who were brought together in Bridgeport from eight different Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.

Oscar and Grammy award winner Jennifer Hudson, who is the latest celebrity to join 7-Eleven's "Coffee Cup with a Cause". Proceeds from cups featuring her personal design, called "Light of Peace", will benefit her designated charity, Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Hudson says, growing up on the South Side she belonged to a club, and it's where she won her first talent show.

"There's nothing like being able to come home and to be able to give back and then to go back to those places that helped bring me up," Hudson said.

Hudson was treated to performances by several of the kids and took pictures with all of them. Some were star struck.

"Just a few days ago I turned on Dreamgirls, and now she's so close," said Takeyia Harris.

Also just feet away from Hudson was aspiring professional singer Joselyn, who received rave reviews from Hudson.

"It just teaches me that even when you make it big, you always come back to your roots and give back to the community and help someone else along on their dream," said Sims.

Since making it big in Hollywood, Hudson has often returned to her roots in Chicago. She says she wants to move back permanently with her fiance and son.

"I'm very serious about that," said Hudson. "I want him to know this is where we're based, this is where your family is, this is home."

Hudson is planning a wedding, which will be in Chicago... She is also working on her next film, where she will play Winnie Mandela, and is also working on her next album.