Annual holiday toy drive, ‘Color Box’, works to put smiles on kids faces this holiday season

The organization CoolxDad helps minority fathers connect with one another and offer support for the challenges that come with fatherhood.

HOUSTON, Texas – An organization that works to empower fathers throughout the Houston area aims to put smiles on the faces of children who are less fortunate this holiday season.

‘Color Box’ is the annual holiday toy drive for CoolxDad, an organization that provides a network for fathers of color throughout the Bayou City. Kevin Barnett founded CoolxDad during the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Barnett said his goal is to help fathers of color build a better world for their children while serving their community. In doing so, Barnett said CoolxDad works to challenge stereotypes, as well, about men of color and their presence in children’s lives.

“It’s a place for them to be vulnerable, to speak about their feelings and what’s going on in their lives,” Barnett said.

Since starting CoolxDad in 2020, Barnett said the organization has grown significantly with more fathers and local organizations joining in to help achieve their mission.

The annual Color Box toy drive further reinforces what Barnett said CoolxDad was established to do, while “bringing holiday cheer to families and providing hope,” Barnett said.

He says five local businesses are participating with a Color Box distribution box on display for patrons to drop off donations.

List of businesses and their location:

Mo’Better Brews

1201 Southmore Blvd.

Houston, TX 77004

Kindred Stories

2304 Stuart Street

Houston, TX 77004

DUO Coffee & Pilates

2147 Westheimer Rd, Suite A

Houston, TX 77098

The Argyle League Barbershop

709 W Alabama St

Houston, TX 77006

Genara

3518 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

Donations to Color Box also can be made on CoolxDad’s website.

Promoting locally owned businesses is another goal of CoolxDad’s Color Box initiative.

Chasitie Lindsay, co-owns Mo’Better Brews with her husband, Courtney. The restaurant and vinyl shop has a Color Box display at its front door.

“We were all about it,” Lindsay said. “Any kind of community effort, we’re always on board.”

Alicia Gray agreed. Gray owns Genara, a lifestyle shop in the Heights, where Color Box greets patrons as they enter.

“I know kids just light up when they receive a gift that’s just for them,” Gray said.

Barnett said the gifts will be given to children through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

“The gift can be unwrapped, we just ask them to be new,” Barnett said.

Color Box will run through Nov. 30 at the five participating businesses.


About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.