Turning 21 but asking family, friends to buy gifts for kids in need

As far as birthdays go, there are different milestones that people reach at different stages of their life. Hitting 21 is one of those pivot points in life. It’s a big deal.

One Carolinian who is getting ready to cross that threshold is using his 21st birthday to give back in a big way to Charlotte kids.

“When it comes to Christmas and birthday, my family struggles with me because I’m probably the most annoying person to shop for,” said Righteous Keitt. “I have everything I could possibly ask for. My family is in good health. I’m grateful for what I have.”

Keitt turns 21 on Dec. 13, and for his birthday he wants to help kids in need.

“I wanted to do something that could be a bit more helpful, so I figured why not do a toy drive for my birthday,” he said. “I think it would just be a great opportunity for people to give back, so if they were going to give me something, I can just pass it on to somebody else.”

These acts of kindness aren’t unusual to Keitt.

Even before graduating from Phillip O. Berry High School with honors, Keitt started a nonprofit called Bags 4 Bagless to help Charlotte’s homeless population.

After a Charlotte jewelry store was vandalized in 2020, Keitt launched a Go Fund Me page and in two weeks raised $15,000 to cover the financial loss of the store.

Currently a junior at UNC Chapel Hill with a double major in political science and public policy, Keitt is an emerging voice for social justice.

“It’s been a very tumultuous year and a half for a lot of people, and a lot of parents may not be able to work the same way that they were,” Keitt said. “A lot of people do not have the same family structure that they had a year and a half ago just due to circumstances and how the world currently is.”

The Christmas toy drive is underway. The Keitt family is asking for toy donations that will be distributed to children between the ages of 1 and 10.

All the donations will be distributed by Communities in Schools Charlotte.

Communities in School is a national organization with a mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

“I think this is an opportunity to really give back to those kids and be able to give them some kind of positive joy for Christmas,” Keitt said. “I would love the opportunity to bring a bit more light towards them.”

Donations can be taken to 4109 Stuart Andrew Blvd., Suite F, Charlotte, NC 28217.

Arrangements can be made for donations to be picked up by emailing RighteousKeitt@gmail.com.

Anyone who would like to make a financial donation via Cash App to purchase toys can click this link to donate.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, public affairs manager at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.