Sherry Morrow, the founder of Kissmas Teen Drive will have an established drop-off site for teen gifts on Dec. 10 at Chuy’s on Rosedale Hwy. from 6:30 -8:30 pm for the Bakersfield Homeless Center’s teens. The gift drive is a consorted effort to provide gifts to teens for the holidays. Morrow is teaming up with the help of Mad Dog Tattoo, who is lending their Kiss van for the event and the Bakersfield Homeless Center who will have a collection van onsite.
“We’re going to be four girls dressed up.” There will also be kids dressed up as Kiss band members, and a DJ. Morrow says she hopes to make Kissmass for teens an annual gift-giving event.
Last year Morrow said she did a toy drive for the Bakersfield Homeless Center and when she dropped the toys off after the collection she asked the center director what the greatest needs were at the center, as far as gifts were concerned. She wanted to have an idea what was going right and also have an idea this year where she could concentrate her efforts. Morrow said that the center said that there was a great need for teen gifts. Not many gifts are provided for that age group. She said, “The teens are forgotten. I felt in my heart that I had to make a difference, so I told myself this year I’m going to do a teen drive.”
Last year there was some teen gifts donated such as sweat suits, and makeup, a table full of items that were distributed, but this year Morrow’s hope is that her focus on teens will encourage holiday gifters to remember teenagers too, and that they will be able to fill several tables for those teens who will spend their holiday at the center.
Morrow said that when teens arrive at the center they are given soap but, “What [girl] teens really like are body washes, loofah sponges, hygiene products, makeup, jewelry, socks, pillows, and for the boy teens, earbuds, cologne, body sprays, simple things,” said Morrow.
She also said that what people don’t realize is the gifts donated during the holidays are gifts that the center makes stretch throughout the year, so that the children and teens have a gift for their birthdays, and rewards for good grades in school. She understands that there will be people who cannot make the gift drive but who may want to donate and she doesn’t want to discourage that from happening.
For those people wishing to donate but who are unable to make the collection drive for teens at Chuy’s, a secondary collection site will be set up at Teaze Salon on Calloway and Hageman in the Save Mart Shopping Center, during the entire holiday season. All gifts received will be delivered to the homeless center. Gifts should be unwrapped but in their original packaging, so the workers are able to wrap them and ensure that the gifts can be distributed based upon age appropriateness, and matched to the wishes that their teens have.
Morrow said, “If people can only afford a $5 or $10 gift, it all adds up.” Gifts can be dropped off at Chuy’s on the event date on 8660 Rosedale Hwy. or Teaze Salon, any time after the event date, at 9530 Hageman Rd.