Toy donations flood into Northwest Jacksonville barber shop after News4JAX story

Thanks to many of our News4JAX viewers, hundreds of children in Northwest Jacksonville will now be able to receive new toys at an annual community Christmas party later this month.

The response was incredible after News4JAX shared on Friday there was a need for toys after there had been a drop off in donations this year.

RELATED: Jacksonville barber shop that hosts long-running Christmas toy drive struggling to get donations this year

“After the story aired, people started inboxing us, sending us messages, and asking us how they could help. Not even 12 hours later, the table has been filled with many toys,” said organizers Renita and Cedric Turner.

The new toy donations are for an upcoming annual community Christmas party hosted by Cutz, Linez, and Trimz Barber Shop on Moncrief Road.

When News4JAX visited the barber shop on Friday, there were only about 10 donated new toys.

Party organizers said decreased donations were the result of many people having a tough time in this current economy. But people who saw that story and had extra money to spend this holiday season responded in a big way.

Turner and her husband said on Saturday, their plea for help was answered when folks they didn’t even know came into the shop and started dropping off new toys.

“I am totally shocked. We were really nervous about this year and how slow the donations were coming in. But thanks to you covering this story and getting the word out of what was happening here in the [322]09 and [322]08 area, these are the results. We are so grateful, and we are so happy to help kids in need this year because this is the time when a lot of people are struggling and don’t know how they are going to enjoy Christmas and pay their bills,” Cedric Turner said.

But it wasn’t just donated toys that came in. A GoFundMe account that helps pay for a petting zoo for the children and other entertainment at the annual party saw an increase in donations. Renita Turner said she started getting alerts late Friday night.

“Before we were ever aware that the story ran, within minutes, it started going off and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, the story must have run.’ It’s been going off all night. All day. All night. I’m so overwhelmed and I’m so happy,” Renita Turner said.

Every year since 2016, the barbershop has given out hundreds of donated new toys, clothing, and school supplies at the annual Christmas party attended by children from the 32208 and 32209 ZIP codes. 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. That’s why the annual party has become an important event.

This year’s party is scheduled for Dec. 17 from noon to 3 p.m. 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.

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