CoolxDad founder Kevin Barnett with his daughters.
Kevin Barnett is the founder of CoolxDad. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
Kevin Barnett and family at the Born a Star festival hosted by CoolxDad in June 2022. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
CoolxDad hosts community events to encourage family bonds, such as the Father + Child Clinic in Sunnyside. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
Kevin Barnett and family at the Father + Child Clinic. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
Fathers enjoy playing basketball with their children at CoolxDad's Father + Child Clinic. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
CoolxDad hosts a Knights Table Dinner, focused on enriching relationships between members. (Courtesy Kevin Barnett)
Houston’s coolest dads are in the running for an extravagant prize that will benefit their communities.
The nonprofit organization CoolxDad, which aims to build a better world for the city’s communities of color by supporting Black and Latin families, particularly fathers, has been named a finalist in Land Rover’s Defender Service Awards. CoolxDad was nominated alongside four other finalists in the community service category, each receiving a prize of $5,000 from presenting sponsor Chase. Public voting is open through this Sunday, November 6 to select winners from each of the awards’ five categories, which will be announced at Destination Defender in New York’s Hudson Valley on November 12.
The prize for winning? $25,000 and a specially outfitted Land Rover Defender 130 SUV. For CoolxDad’s founder Kevin Barnett, this car would mean an enormous increase in CoolxDad’s capacity to provide for the community.
“Winning the Defender Service Award would allow us to comfortably transport supplies, CoolxDad members and volunteers around the city for our initiatives,” Barnett says. “For example, we are now gearing up for Color Box, our annual gift drive.
“A large vehicle would allow us to pick up the toys and donations we receive from local businesses throughout the city and transport them to our gift-wrapping event as well as deliver hundreds of wrapped presents to children in the Project Row Houses community. We plan to put the money right back into the mission, building out our financial literacy, mental health and community service projects for year three, our strongest year yet.”
This year’s Color Box gift drive will benefit families in the Project Row Houses community, one of the city’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. Color Box is one of CoolxDad’s many initiatives around Houston aimed at serving families and eradicating stigmas around fathers of color. Other initiatives include the Father’s Day Basketball Skills Clinic, free financial and business literacy workshops, mental health support for men and more.