PORTSMOUTH — Many people drive by a homeless person and don’t think a thing about what it must be like for them, but a Portsmouth business owner, Tyler Crisp, took seeing so many around his business area and some who come into his place, Bar Benders Gym and Supplement Shop on 614 Glover Street in Portsmouth last year and wanted to do something about it.
“It started out, I was just gonna drive around and pass out hoodies because it was super cold, and people were out walking around without any way to keep warm, they were freezing and I thought it would be a good thing to do and see how many hoodies I could get, and it turned into a bigger thing,” Crisp said. “We did 125 hoodies last year, we did toboggans, gloves, socks, blankets, some toiletries, and it was catered inside this big tent where they could eat and get warm. This year, of course, we can’t have a tent or meal. We will be handing out some food and we will have coffee. We have somewhere close to 200 hoodies this year.”
Crisp shared the hoodies were kind of hard to get ahold of this year because many of the places are making masks right now instead of hoodies, he wanted to try to double what he did last year but wasn’t able to. He said that everything they pass out is from donations as the community has been great to help out. He said that a lot of businesses have gotten involved and last year he didn’t do individual donations, but this year, “We’ve had a lot of people just drop in and give money just to donate to the cause. It‘s turned into kind of a big thing, and I’m pretty happy with it.”
When Tyler Crisp returned home from serving in Iraq in 2009, he knew he wanted to do something with bodybuilding. He knew that that was what he wanted to do and that it was how he wanted to make his living and it allowed him to open his business. He started out by opening a shop that sells supplements and because that business did well, he was able to add the gym. “I think that giving back goes hand in hand with being successful. If it weren’t for the people here who come in a buy from my shop, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do so I figure what better way to give back than to use the platform I have, to try and help out some people who need it.”
Today, Hoodies for the Homeless Second Annual Charity Event will be at Bar Benders Gym and Supplement Shop located at 614 Glover Street, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Anyone in need can get a hoodie, blanket, gloves, a toboggan, toiletries some food as all are being given out for free. All of this is because one man didn’t want to see anyone out in the cold without some type of protection.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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