Bruno Argenal is using his status as a college athlete to give back to his community.
The 20-year-old Antioch native graduated from Heritage High School in 2020 and went on to play football for Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania.
Last summer, he founded Kaps 4 Kiddos, a charity project geared toward getting kids in need something fun and something useful.
“Kaps 4 Kiddos is about collecting donations of hats and socks for underprivileged and homeless kids,” Argenal said. “I started this initiative as a way to give back to the community, which I am very proud to be a part of. Using my platform as a college football player and my network with other college athletes and universities across the country, I have been able to collect donations of hats and socks from all over to give out to kids in need here in the Bay Area.”
Argenal was inspired to start his charity by the memory of his grandfather and his own childhood struggles. He said he is grateful to be where he is today and would not have reached his dream of playing college football if it weren’t for people helping him, so he came up with a plan to gather baseball caps and socks and donate them to kids at Bay Area shelters.
“My grandfather was passionate about helping others and those in need,” Argenal said. “I wanted to come up with a way to help kids in need in a way that was special to me and correlates to what I do as a student athlete and what my grandfather was as a baseball player, so that’s why I chose baseball caps. I chose socks because those are one of the most requested items by homeless people and they are received the least.”
Argenal reached out to his following on Instagram and to other colleges’ athletics programs and received donations of hats and socks from schools all over the country. He also received donations from friends, family and the Antioch community.
“It was an amazing experience to see so many people I knew and had just met from all over the country come together for this,” Argenal said. “But the biggest, mind-blowing feeling was seeing the kids’ faces when giving them the hats, and just how bright their eyes were when they came out to meet me.”
Last month, while home on spring break, he donated more than 50 packages, each containing a baseball cap, a pair of socks, and some snacks. One of the shelters he visited was Love a Child Mission in Bay Point, a shelter serving homeless women and children since 1984 with 14 cottages, enabling it to house families with older sons.
Administrator Courtney Davis said Argenal’s visit was a great experience for the kids.
“Bruno came out and met with the children and really showed his heart for this service,” Davis said. “We were so appreciative of him, and the children were so excited. The hats and treats were fun and the socks filled a real need for us.”
Argenal is finishing his sophomore year at Mercyhurst. He hopes his charity motivates others to get involved in giving back.
“I hope this inspires others in the community to see that it doesn’t take a whole lot to help someone out,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to impact them in a way they will remember for the rest of their lives. You never know how a small act of kindness will affect them for the rest of their lives.”