Bradley bar combines music and charity to give kids a Merry Christmas

FOX 32 NEWS - This weekend, a bar in Bradley, just outside of Bourbonnais, will combine music with charity in a benefit that could mean a very Merry Christmas for lots of local kids.

Consider yourself lucky if you've never known the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning with nothing under the tree. It’s a memory, tough to re-live, especially this time of year.

Take it from a man who's been there.

“At the moment, you don't really know much about it.  You just wonder why you don't have it,” said Robert Smith.

Smith was just 10 years old the year his mother was laid off from work. It was tough enough keeping a roof over the family's head and food on the table.

Christmas, she told them, just wasn't in the budget.

“Salvation Army stepped in and helped us.  So from that day on I said I wanted to one day be able to help them out too,” Smith said.

So he reached out to Nick Huffman and his Bradley bar, The Looney Bin.

The thing about Huffman is that he's a visual guy. He could simply ask you to donate a toy, but what he really wants is for you to fill this entire storage unit.

“Because how cool would that be to get an entire storage unit full of toys?” Huffman said.

The storage unit is outside the bar now and will be until December 5th. Huffman and Smith hope to get a big boost this weekend when they host six local bands at the bar and three solo acts.

There’s no cover; just bring new, unwrapped toys.

“Every kid deserves a Christmas. Plain and simple. That's all I've got to say. And we've got an opportunity to make that happen,” Huffman said.