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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Little Santa Gives Back to Kids in Need

   There is a new Santa in Hampton, 

Virginia. Cassidy Carey is the four-year-old do-gooder’s name. With the help of his mother, Sharqita Hicks, Cassidy is on a mission to help as many kids in need as possible who could use toys for Christmas in the area through Cassidy’s Christmas Toy Drive. Although some of his favorite pastimes are heading to the beach, and Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Cassidy is also a kind entrepreneur who is paying for free toys to give away. He has been raising money to buy them through his licensed business called C.A.S. Official. In 2020, Hicks started the clothing brand, which is an acronym for “Creating All Success” for her son. The business incorporates the importance of community giving.

   With so many parents strapped for cash during the pandemic, many traditional programs offering Christmas toys for struggling families are overloaded with requests. Even the Marine Toys for Tots is facing challenges collecting ample toy donations this year.

   Gunnery Sgt. Brian Baez is a U.S. Marine who has been gathering toys for children in need through the program. According to 6abc Action News in Pennsylvania. (https://6abc.com/toys-for-tots-donations-us-marines-marine-corps/11308644/), he said that donations have not been as plentiful in New York.    “This time last year, we had double the donations coming in, so it’s definitely been a struggle,” Sgt. Baez said in a news interview.

   As the countdown to Christmas ticks away, it is a prime time to remember that even the most effective organizations cannot realistically serve everyone. Independent community efforts around the U.S., such as Cassidy’s Christmas Toy Drive, help to ease the burden of parents who find themselves unable to locate toy sponsors.

   “Little Santa” in Hampton recognizes this reality. Cassidy said that helping in the community makes him feel happy. He explained that collecting money and buying stuff for other people is something that he does for others. He is buying toys and collecting unopened ones, too. His mother is providing support such as shopping advice, transportation, and organizing details to make Cassidy’s giving day extremely special.

   “Some of the things that Cassidy and myself have done as a team are working together to make sales from his clothing company to collect funds and be able to buy essentials and other things for people in need. Originally, community giving was my idea, but as his mother, I give the credit to my son, simply because Cassidy asked to keep serving others. He’s very intelligent and he’s only four,” Hicks said. “I’ve been supporting Cassidy’s Christmas Toy Drive by purchasing toys out of pocket to get this Christmas event going. Cassidy also helps sell his very own merchandise in order to collect funds to be able to purchase many different things. For example, C.A.S. Official sponsored a Thanksgiving Food Drive just last month.”

   Chenelle Hicks has donated funds for small business community events, and volunteered to help them with several, including the previous one. Chenelle Hicks is Sharqita Hicks’ sister and Cassidy’s aunt. She mentioned the impact of giving from the heart.

   “We’ve had people tell us at the Thanksgiving Food Drive that other places they have been to were already out of items, so they were thankful for this drive,” she said.

   Sharqita Hicks is an ambitious working mother who planted the seed for Cassidy to spread holiday cheer with his family. The mother who was born and raised in Hampton is no stranger to lending a helping hand to others. Her sharing spirit developed in childhood. For this reason, she introduced Cassidy to giving back to the community.

   “As a child, I’ve given so much out of the kindness of my heart. I remember I would buy school lunch for my peers who didn’t have any money to eat during the time. I would even give away my own lunch to anyone who wasn’t able to get a free meal,” Hicks said.

   Hicks wants others to know that all things are possible with faith, to achieve a goal. Despite Cassidy’s young age, his acts of kindness can bring joy to other children. Cassidy’s Christmas Toy Drive will be open to the public. Free toys will be distributed on Dec. 23, 2021 at 1706 Todds Lane in Hampton. Any donations will be accepted until Dec. 22. Financial donations can be made through CashApp via $shahicks23. Unopened toys for individuals who are local to the Hampton area are wanted. 

   Visit Cassidy’s social media pages @casofficialshopnco on Facebook and Instagram for details.

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