Toys 4 Tats

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Toys for Tats: Texas Tattoo Shop Helping Kids in Need by Trading Free Ink for Gifts

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Around the holidays, lots of businesses organize Toys for Tots collections, where people can drop off gifts to be given to children whose parents can’t afford to buy them gifts for Christmas, but a tattoo shop in Texas is taking this idea one step further with a Toys 4 Tats giveaway, offering free or discounted tattoos in exchange for toys for kids in need up to 12 years old.

The man behind the Toys for Tats charity is Platinum Tattoos owner Noah Yuchnitz, a San Antonio tattoo artist who believes that every kid should have a happy Christmas, no matter what sort of financial situation their family is in. So, to help families in need in the San Antonio area this holiday season, Noah Yuchnitz and other artists at Platinum Tattoos are offering free or discounted tattoos in exchange for kids’ gifts. Now through December 24, San Antonians who want to get inked can get a free tattoo valued at $60 or less if they bring in an unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more. For larger pieces and custom tattoos valued at $60 or more, gift-givers will receive as much as $80 towards the tattoo.

Noah Yuchnitz got the idea for the Toys for Tats giveaway from a friend of his, who, in 2009, ran a similar campaign. But when the friend moved away, Yuchnitz felt that he should carry on the tradition. This is the second year Platinum Tattoos has participated in the Toys for Tats giveaway, which Yuchnitz says will be an annual charity event. “I just love helping kids,” says Yuchnitz. “I met a little family two years ago, and their situation touched my heart. A mother of six [kids], single, she couldn’t afford to buy toys [for Christmas].” The toys purchased in exchange for tattoos will go to kids and families in need around San Antonio, because, as Yuchnitz says, “no kid should go without a Christmas.”

So, the gift-givers are happy, because they get a free or discounted tattoo, and the kids are happy, because they will be getting some great gifts this Christmas. As for the San Antonio community’s response to the Toys for Tats giveaway, Yuchnitz says, “It’s been phenomenal. People are saying that we’re doing something awesome.”

For those in the San Antonio area who want to participate in the Toys for Tats giveaway, but aren’t looking to get a tattoo, your donations are just as welcome. As Yuchnitz says, “At the end of the day, a toy is a toy, and a toy puts a smile on a kid’s face. And that’s all that matters. We just want the kids to smile and be happy.”

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