NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Local businesses are giving back to their youngest customers this holiday season.
The 3rd annual “Make A Kid Smile” toy and clothing drive was held Tuesday in Norfolk.
Kappatal Cuts owner Junius Thompson said it was started to help those in need.
“I feel that some kids don’t have families. They don’t have a Christmas feel and the fact we can come out and do this, for kids in the community, it’s a beautiful thing. I just love to give back to those who give to us,” Thompson said.
Thompson delivered gifts to kids at his barbershops on Monday.
“The barbershop itself is a pillar in the community. We’re here to be parents, friends, uncles, grandfathers, that male figure in these kids’ lives. That’s why we do what we do every holiday,” he said.
Thompson said that, along with Got Fish LLC and PT Nightlife, more than 350 toys were collected.
He’s amazed at how many were donated, and the quality of the toys that won’t just go to customers in the store.
They’ll also be passed out to those in need at the HER Shelter, Glow Mentoring Program, Wright Path Outreach and Friends of Portsmouth Juveniles.
Thompson hopes that the kids leave with a feeling of appreciation and community. And that others see what all the businesses and those who helped are doing for their neighborhoods.
“I hope that they see we are a driving force in the community and being a barber, a black barber, isn’t as bad as some might think. We’re a positive to the community and we care about our people,” he said.