The holiday season is here and a local Atlanta entrepreneur is looking to spread a little cheer by hosting a children’s toy drive and marketplace benefiting needy families and Black-owned businesses across the city.
Business owner CorShanda “CoCo” Springer of CoCo Studios is holding her first toy drive and holiday marketplace on Dec. 23 in an effort to help those in need, while also giving support to Black entrepreneurs.
The event, hosted in conjunction with business affiliates Hosea Helps, Black Wall Street: The Movement and The Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is Project, among others, is hoping to encourage local buyers to give back to their communities while partaking in what Springer calls “conscious consumerism.”
The CoCo Studios’ CEO is asking that donors bring any and all toys or gift-card donations that could benefit children in need. The donated items will be disbursed to families through local nonprofit Hosea Helps. Ideally, Springer said, she hopes to help at least 100 deserving families this holiday season.
“[Donors should] think of all age demographics of children that would appreciate the toys,” Springer told Atlanta Black Star.
Springer said the event was inspired by her mission to emulate the support and success of Black Americans in 1920s Tulsa, Oklahoma, better known as Black Wall Street. The town was a hub for African-American life and entrepreneurship until it was burned to the ground by a jealous, angry white mob.
Now, almost 100 years later, Springer is using her toy drive and holiday marketplace to help recreate that economic success, while also encouraging Black people to give back to one another. That’s why she felt it was important to employ Black businesspeople from across the city to serve as vendors at the event.
“My whole mission is centered around Black Wall Street: The Movement,” Springer said. “Using the infrastructure of … what [African-Americans] were able to accomplish at a time where it was absolutely unheard of for Blacks to circulate their money, keep their money within their community and be so sufficient.”
This month’s toy drive and marketplace is just a taste of the many events the Atlanta businesswoman has on tap going into next year. Springer said she plans to host a similar affair in February to kick off her monthly Black Wall Street brunches, during which she’ll visit various Black-owned restaurants throughout the city.
This is where Springer said the value of conscious consumerism comes in. For her, buyers, especially Black buyers, should be knowledgeable of the struggles of the African-American community and how its consumer choices impact Black economic progress.
“I can’t have this conversation with everybody,” she said. “They don’t see the importance of keeping our dollars within our community. Those [who] do see the importance of it are who I consider conscious consumers.”
Springer’s toy drive and holiday marketplace will take place on Dec. 23 at CoCo Studios, located at 767 Trabert Ave., NW in Atlanta. Toy drop-off begins at 11 a.m. and will continue throughout the day, while doors for the marketplace are set to open at 5:30 p.m.
The event is still in need of a few services, however. Springer said she is currently looking for a DJ, as well as a catering service to provide light refreshments and adult beverages (wine, liquor, etc.)
For more information about the events or to donate, please contact Springer at [email protected]