Sunday, 12 December 2021
Written by Rakeem "Keem" Jones
"Blessings are cyclical; they will always come back in a cycle," says 22-year-old Victor "Vic Blends" Fontanez.
Fontanez recently amassed 10 million followers on Tik-Tok's video platform and sat with mogul Nick Cannon for an in-depth interview.
During this interview, Fontanez discussed his motivation for inspiring millions with videos during which he cuts random strangers' hair while getting to know them.
In his interview with Cannon, Vic Blends wore a blue Fayetteville State University hoodie as an ode to his hometown, Fayetteville. The South View High School graduate believes the community is the foundation that built his career.
"We all have big dreams, hoping to be globally known for what we do, but that starts with first being a pillar in your community," Fontanez said.
Last year, Fontanez, along with The Two-Six project, founded by 24-year-old Morehouse College graduate Grant Bennett, provided free clothing, toys, food, and haircuts to more than 1000 families in the greater Fayetteville area with their annual Christmas Giveback.
For Fontanez, the giveback furthers the notion that his purpose is far greater than haircuts.
He is grateful for the amazing career and abundance of opportunity but feels it is worthless if it is not used to make an impact.
Christmas Giveback returns this year at Segra Stadium, home of the Houston Astros affiliate, Fayetteville Woodpeckers, on Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Giveback will provide free haircuts, toys, clothing, food and entertainment for the community. In addition, there will be resources to assist with rent and utilities, baby needs and free cell phone service.
"I want to show kids you can do great things, regardless of your occupation," says Fontanez.
So, this year, he has partnered with another Fayetteville native, Grammy-nominated musical recording artist Morray.
In an Instagram caption, Morray writes: "I love giving back to my people...I remember when I didn't have it, and I never want anyone to feel like that so we going up yall!! 2-6." He never forgets where he came from.
Before Thanksgiving, Morray was spotted filming a music video in the same apartments where he shot the video for his megahit "Quicksand" with a crowd from his hometown. Back in August, the Morray partnered with Cora's Community Foundation to host Everybody's Family Reunion and NZone Social Venue. They distributed over 800 bookbags before the start of the school year.
Through collaborative efforts with community partners like Cora's Community Foundation; Empact One Foundation; Serenity's Grace; and Lifeline Assistance Group, Fontanez and Bennett plan to expand on the impact of the Christmas Giveback event. This year's event is sponsored by Adidas, Nike, Jordan Brand and Yellow Crayons, to name a few. Entertainment for the entire family will include music by D.J. Ricoveli, face painting by Falcon Focus, and a number of surprises.
For those that want to donate to Christmas Giveback, drop-off locations will be set up at the Cool Spring Downtown District’s office 222 Hay Street and Rude Awakening Coffee House at 227 Hay Street. Follow @vicblends, @twosixproject, @djricoveli, and @undergroundkeem on Instagram for more information.
Salute to everyone involved with the Christmas Giveback and every activist getting active. Peace.
Tuesday, 09 November 2021
Written by Emily Sussman
Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) has a long history of supporting soldiers wherever they land when they are far from friends and family. Developed in 1989 by the U.S Army Community and Family Support Center (USACFSC) and major army commands the programs are geared towards engaging and involving single soldiers. The program aims to tend to their recreational needs and improve their overall quality of life. The Fort Bragg BOSS program is home-away-from-home to over twenty-nine thousand single and unaccompanied soldiers at Fort Bragg and this includes soldiers who are single-parents.
“BOSS offers recreational and leisure events, volunteer and community service opportunities, and life-skill activities that are geared towards providing lifelong knowledge,” said Staff Sgt. Jakoby Mallory, president of Fort
For the ninth year running the annual BOSS Thanksgiving will provide single and unaccompanied soldiers a traditional Thanksgiving buffet spread, entertainment and a running raffle for prizes.
“We hope that single soldiers in attendance benefit from knowing they are not alone during the holiday season,” Mallory said. “We are aware this may be a very difficult time for soldiers who are unable to be with their families and love[d] ones, but the Fort Bragg community is their home away from home.”
Sgt. Henry Harper, 122nd Aviation Support Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade is opting to spend the holiday with others and will be attending the BOSS Thanksgiving event. This will be the first BOSS event that Harper has attended.
“To me, it sounds like a great opportunity for single soldiers to get a free meal while interacting with other single soldiers. Even though we are unable to go home, it’s reassuring knowing that we won’t spend the holiday alone,” Harper said.
The installation sees the care of the soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg as a key priority.
“We (Fort Bragg) want families and loved ones to know that their soldier will be taken care of by the Fort Bragg community and its leaders,” explained Fort Bragg spokeswoman, Sharilyn Wells. “This event is just one way to ensure that single and unaccompanied soldiers know that they are a big and important part of our community. We are fortunate enough to have organizations volunteer their support, provide a free, home-cooked meal, entertainment and donate their time to ensure the morale and welfare of our soldiers.”
This year’s event is being supported by donations from the Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union, Geico Military and the Gary Sinise Foundation.
The BOSS Thanksgiving event will be held at the Iron Mike Conference Center on Fort Bragg, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event is free and for any BOSS service member. Those interested in attending should contact the Fort Bragg BOSS program at 910-396-7751.
For more information on Fort Bragg’s BOSS program and their upcoming events visit www.facebook.com/fortbraggboss.