Masters Barbers in San Leandro holds holiday toy giveaway, provides free lunch for customers

Most people come to Master Barbers in San Leandro for a haircut and conversation. 

But on Friday, it was a little different, as the men and women of the shop decided to step it up and become Santa's helpers. 

"Growing up as a kid I was one of the less fortunate ones. We always believed when we got older we'd do more and give back," said Benjamin Colbert, owner of Master Barbers. 

This is the first year Master's held a toy giveaway. Each child that came in got to pick any gift they wanted free of charge. 

J.J. was one of the first kid to do so, and it made his mother's day.  

"I'm shocked. I didn't even know this was happening. We just came in to get a haircut for Christmas and this is so cool," says JJ's mom Gina Zones.  

The men and women of the shop have always been willing to give back. 

Two years ago, Master Barbers was the sight of the very first Barbershop Forum, opening communication between law enforcement and the community.  Since then, Colbert and his team have continued to work to make a difference.

"We're doing this Christmas drive because we believe in giving back to the community. We believe in touching hearts," said Colbert. 

"We want children to see this side of us that we're trying our best to make a mends with the community and build those partnerships and show we are people too," said San Leandro police Lt. Ted Henderson. 

It took some time to pull things off. All of the barbers and local law enforcement donated the toys. They say it's very important to give those in need. It's their way of paying it forward.  While at the shop, a man who gets his haircut there dropped off a trunk full of toys. 

"Sometimes money isn't always there. I like to give back to the community. I've been blessed to have a little bit more than some do," said Jesus Tapia of Oakland.  

The giveaway didn't stop with the children.  Master Barbers also had a taco stand to provide free food to their customers. They say during this time of the year it’s important that everyone feels like they matter. 

"I'm just thankful to see this happen. I'm very…I'm trying not to get emotional. I'm very grateful to see this happen today. That's what it’s all about, it’s all about giving back," said Colbert.  

The barbers say this year’s event was a success and plan to do it bigger and better next year.