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A decade ago, he fell on hard times. Now he spends the holidays giving back

A decade ago, he fell on hard times. Now he spends the holidays giving back
Posted at 11:34 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 23:34:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- There is magic about the holiday season, both in kids and adults.

However, the season of giving and receiving can be hard for some parents trying to make a Christmas for their children. A local man has been on both sides at Christmas time and now makes it his mission to help others.

"People don't know why I get so excited. But I know why," Keith Black, the owner of The Magic Of Giving Back, said.

"He's incredibly passionate about it for a reason," Kathleen McCay, the owner of Old Towne's Alibi, said.

For Keith, this time of year is about giving back. As someone who fell on hard times a decade ago, he sees it differently than many others.

"I went from a person who was going "Meals On Wheels", "Angel Tree", "Toys For Tots", giving to all the charities, the food pantries. And then, one day, next thing you know, I'm going to the food pantry," Keith said.

The Christmas season was made more difficult as he had a small child. While he was able to get gifts for his son from programs like Toys for Tots, Keith received something just as important.

"It also has an impact on the parents, a great impact on the parents. Makes them feel whole again," Keith said.

Now, a decade later, he is in a position to once again give back to those in need. And he's taking his fellow coworkers with him.

"He infects other people. He doesn't do it for sales. He doesn't do it to get people to like him. In fact, he does it very quietly. It's a passion for him and it's nothing more important, I think, that for somebody to have a passion," Shawn Hays, the general manager at CMA Colonial Chevrolet, said.

His coworkers understand why this mission is important to him and why so many help out as well.

"He's been on the receiving end of it so he has a different viewpoint on it than a lot of people do and I think it's marvelous," Alexander Perry, one of Keith's coworkers, said.

Keith's energy also infects his customers.

"I hate to call them customers because all these bikes are actually from friends," Keith said.

"When I go up there and I see him and when I dropped off those bikes, he was so excited," Nicole Pegram, the owner of Daffodil Boutique, said.

"I showed up within 25 minutes with three brand new bikes to kick his season off right," McCay said.

With Toys For Tots boxes overflowing and new bicycles pushing new cars out of the showroom, these presents will do more than bring a smile to small faces.

"The people that give change lives. It's that simple," Keith said.

"Even though it's as small as a bike or a toy, this could change someone's life path down the road. I mean, the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow," Perry said.

"I think we got over 40 bikes right now, last count is 40 to 41. My goal is 50. I think we're going to get about 60, though, if I keep working at it," Keith said.