Joey Childs is an impressive young man.
The San Jose native communicates with the professionalism and articulation of a C-level executive. He owns two separate business cards -- one advertising his pressure washing services and another for his family's moving and storage company. Joey is also the founder of "Joey's Toy Drive," an annual holiday drive benefiting Toys for Tots that is now into its seventh year. His donation in 2018? A whopping 1,600 toys.
Oh, and Joey is just 13-years-old.
"I do it because it makes me feel really good," Joey said. "I meet a lot of new people, and I get to go to new places. There are a lot of people out there who can't have a good Christmas. That's why I do this -- so they can feel like they have as fortunate of a Christmas as we do."
San Francisco 49ers co-chairman Dr. John York recently heard Joey's story and was eager to meet the young philanthropist. York invited Joey to be his personal guest at practice on Saturday ahead of the team's Week 16 home game against the Chicago Bears as well as the game itself. Joey politely declined the invite to practice as he was up in Paradise, Calif., helping pass out 5,000 toys to those impacted by the Camp Fire that ravaged much of Northern California. It was an event completely separate from his own drive. But Joey was able to make the game, and York introduced him as a special guest in the owner's suite.
"I had an amazing and unforgettable day with my family," Joey said.
Joey's fondness for community service stems from exposure to a holiday toy drive as a 5-year old. Following the event, Joey told his parents that he wanted to organize his own drive. He collected 150 toys in Year 1, and he hopes he'll be able to donate 2,000 in 2019. All of his toys are taken to the Marine base in San Jose where they are then distributed around the Bay Area in association with Toys for Tots.
His efforts have garnered plenty of attention around the region with toys flooding in year-round. Still, there's still room for growth, and Joey says there's a shortage of sports equipment and beauty supplies for teenagers. If monetary donations come in, he takes that money and goes shopping with his family for additional gifts.
Joey's biggest challenge is proving his credibility. Apparently there are still some who question that a kid could establish and operate something of this magnitude.
"I've had a lot of people turn me down because I've actually had people tell me that I may be doing this for myself," Joey said. "I want people to know that this is going towards a good cause. The only way this is possible is with the help of other people."
For those looking to get involved, Joey can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook @joeystoydrive. He's already accepting donations for next year.
"I'm thrilled," said Cheri, Joey's mom. "I'm proud. He's such a wonderful boy. We are just so blessed to have Joey as our son."