TAUNTON — Local business owner Rashaud Garner of Platinum City Gaming has helped brighten the holidays for hundreds of Taunton students.
On Thursday, Dec. 16, Garner visited the Taunton Public Schools to present his donation of Platinum City Gaming gift cards for each student at the Parker and Martin middle schools to each building's respective principals and school administration. At Parker Middle School there are approximately 475 students and at Martin Middle School there are approximately 675 students.
"I'm blown away by this donation and Mr. Garner's generosity as I cannot recall a donation of this magnitude that has been given to every single student in one of our schools," Superintendent John Cabral said. "We cannot even begin to thank Mr. Garner for his generous donation. Support from our community, such as this donation, truly shows our students that they are cared for and supported by all those in our city."
In total, Garner donated 1,150 gift cards worth $20 to every student at the two schools. The gift cards can be used for virtual reality, console gaming, computer gaming, half-court basketball, bumper cars and more at the Platinum City Gaming, 294 Winthrop St.
"During these crazy times and with the New Year holiday coming around, I would just love to see a child smile," Garner said.
Platinum City Gaming also organized a toy drive, held Sunday, Dec. 19, in which 290 local families received free gifts, Garner said.
Garner grew up in Boston and opened Platinum City Gaming in June 2018. His goal in life is to continue to provide access and lifelines to youth and inner-city residents who wouldn’t have the ability to access specific resources due to their unforeseen lifestyles. Students from both schools often visit his arcade and that, coupled with his passion to give back to the youth, inspired him to make the donation.
"Mr. Garner's kindness will help to ensure that all of our students have an opportunity to visit Platinum City Gaming and enjoy all that the entertainment center has to offer, which is truly invaluable in a time when many families are facing financial burdens," Parker Middle School Principal Michael Byron said.
Added Martin Middle School Principal Elizabeth Rodrigues, "We're aware that some of our students can't participate in all the activities their peers can due to financial burdens and disparities across our community. With Mr. Garner's generous donation all of our students will now have the same opportunity to enjoy all the games the business has to offer without the worry of how to afford it."