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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An annual event that helps children from less fortunate households is in jeopardy of not being able to provide new toys and clothing to hundreds of kids this Christmas holiday.
Every year right before Christmas, Cutz, Linez, and Trimz Barbershop in Northwest Jacksonville puts on a huge party where they give away donated new toys, clothing and school supplies.
But this year, donations are considerably down.
Organizers of the annual party say donations are down this year because of the economy.
Even people in past years who were already struggling but managed to donate a new toy have been unable to donate a new toy this year.
Every year around this time since 2016, the owners of Cutz, Linez, and Trimez Barber Shop on Moncrief Road have given back to the community by organizing and hosting a huge community party right before Christmas. But barbershop owner and party organizer Renita Turner said this is the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in which donations have significantly dropped.
“This year, it’s not COVID. It’s the economy. Everything has gone up. Groceries, gas, everything is extremely high. People are barely making it,” Turner said.
According to Florida Demographics, 24% of the families In the 32208 ZIP code live in poverty. And in the 32209 ZIP code, that number jumps to 31%. So not every parent can afford Christmas gifts for their children.
“Christmas is not a necessity to those people, so we have to make it to where kids can at least come for a day if they’re not going to get it from home, they can come out to the park and be a kid and enjoy themselves,” Turner said.
Weeks before last year’s party donated new toys filled the entire pool table in the middle of the barbershop. There were also more than 20 new bicycles, brand-new clothing, and school uniforms. Nearly 300 children went home with gifts and new clothes.
There were only about 10 items on the table on Friday. Turner is hoping anyone with extra money to spend this holiday season, will spend that money on gifts that can be donated to the children who attend this year’s party.
The party will be Sunday, Dec. 17 from noon to 3 pm at Lonnie C. Miller Park.
If you have questions about donations, you can speak to the owners of Cutz, Linez and Trimz Barbershop by calling or texting 904-701-8804.
The drop-off location for donated gifts is the barbershop at 6050 Moncrief Road.
You can also donate to the online fundraiser.