New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz did not make the impact on the field that he hoped he would in 2015, but he continues to make an impact off the field. Cruz joined forces with Suraj Kaufman, owner of the Sneaker Room on Central Avenue in Jersey City, for the company’s annual toy drive.
With the help of Cruz, in addition to other local businesses, Kaufman filled a truck full of toys for local children in need during the holiday season. Kaufman’s past experiences in life have helped him shape this touching tradition.
“I know what it is to not got get toys for Christmas or not get what you want,” Kaufman told Caitlin Mota of the Jersey Journal.
Kaufman was born and raised in the city’s Marion Gardens housing complex.
“Being now that I have two businesses, I like to make sure that we give back and we donate.”
Kaufman owns another store in Bayonne, in addition to Jersey City’s Sneaker Room.
Cruz arrived at Kaufman’s store and waited as several fans arrived to take photos with Cruz outside of the store. Cruz and his foundation will also help by donating and distributing toys as part of the drive.
“It’s about the kids, it’s about being able to give back in the right way,” Cruz said. “All these toys are going to go to a good cause that will be used… it’s just a good way to give back to the community.
I remember being young and not having anyone that was there for me, you know, no celebrity or no one that came to my town that was coming back and doing these things and giving back to the community,” Cruz said. “I wanted to make sure I was the opposite of that.”