‘Tis the Season: Film Shops Tint For ToysDecember 1st, 2021 by Chris Collier
December is here and with it comes the season of gift-giving. Brandon ‘Hoss’ Evans of Xtreme Shades in Smithfield, N.C., is wrapping a gift with fellow tinters, teaming up for a toy drive this month. Vinnie Bienvenue, owner of One Stop Mobile Electronics in Toms River, N.J., committed to a seven-hour drive to support the cause.
“I have three children of my own,” Bienvenue says. “I’m fortunate enough to do what I love. Do I have a lot of money? No, absolutely not. But I do have a lot of love in my family.”
Xtreme Shades will be accepting toys and raising funds for the U.S. Veterans Corps’ Toys For Lil Troops program, which provides toys specifically to the children of low income and deployed troops. Each year, the organization delivers toys to local military installations such as Fort Bragg, Camp LeJeune, Fort Lee, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, Fort Meade, Fort Stewart, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Shaw Air Force Base, Eglin Air Force Base and more.
Xtreme Shades will generate toys for the cause through pre-scheduled, discounted tinting appointments and donations on December 11. A car meetup will be held and Ugly Mug Bean & Brew of Garner, N.C., will bring their food truck, donating 10% of its proceeds.
“I’ve been fortunate enough; I didn’t grow up in that type of community,” Evans said. “Seeing friends and people that didn’t get [gifts] they wanted for Christmas or only had one or two presents because their mom or dad—or both parents—didn’t go out and buy a bunch of gifts for Christmas—I think that’s one of the biggest things is adding to their Christmas morning.”
Evans held a similar event last year, donating nearly 100 toys to Toys For Lil Troops. He currently has three full tint jobs scheduled and is aiming to raise $4,000. It’s a lofty goal made possible by tinters willing to hit the road. Mike Powell, owner of Day To Night Window Tinting in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., will be on hand.
“I hope this brings communities closer and shows people there are still great people willing to help others in need,” Powell says. “I love how this brings our tint community together, showing that we are in this industry together and we aren’t always in competition.”
Cody Becker, general manager of Shore Tint and More in Seaford, Del., will drive nearly seven hours to assist the all-hands-on-deck industry initiative.
“I’m blessed to be able to leave my shop and have it running self-sufficiently,” Becker says. “It gives me the opportunity to help out and try and raise some money for some kids. I have a younger brother. I’d hate to have him go without presents for Christmas. I want to give back and help out.”
23-year film veteran Bienvenue is a father of three and says his family inspired him to make the trip down south.
“My family is everything and to know kids don’t have toys—that’s why I’ll drive there,” Bienvenue says. “I could take money out of my pocket and go to a ShopRite or Toys“R”Us and buy some toys. But I’m going to go there, work next to these guys and know we’re doing something for a good cause.”