Several businesses and education leaders came together to do something for disadvantaged youth.
This was the simple notion for action that came from a conversation during a haircut. The result was a daylong stream of happy and hopeful children, from many cultural backgrounds, with happy and thankful parents in tow.
Fades of Gray barbershop owner Julian Gray, together with his longtime client Kevin Bennett, principal of The F.A.I.R. School in Minneapolis, devised a simple event to give away free haircuts to youth headed back to school. In order to challenge his group of barbers, and have the greatest impact, Gray set a difficult goal of 100 haircuts during the one-day event.
Free backpacks donated by Ameriprise Financial, filled with wooden hair brushes, snacks and coupons were given to each child after their haircut. Fresh from their haircut, children glowed as they took their tickets to claim a free backpack with additional goods and gift cards donated by Fades of Gray, F.A.I.R. School – Downtown, Target, Osseo Public Schools director of Educational Equity, Tony Hudson and Will Walker of Walker Law Offices. Excitedly, some children immediately put on their backpack as they made their way back to mom, dad, or guardian, with new wooden brushes in hand.
“We all know how good it feels to get a haircut. For the kids it’s something simple to set them up so they can learn better. It’s just a way to support them and help them be successful,” said Gray.
Event sponsor Hudson commented on his appreciation taking part in the initiative, saying, “My kids go to F.A.I.R., so I’ve got a good relationship with Kevin. We’re two brothers that try to support each other with our work. And it’s powerful that everybody else here is like that too. Once you have that, it’s just about showing up. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.”
“We want to let the kids know that we’re Black men who care about you and understand your experience. Just to give the kids a simple pat on the back and say thank you to them, for adding value to the community by showing up and doing their best in school,” said Bennett.
Reflecting, and pointing around the room, Bennett continued, “Most of us can say we grew up in the church and the barbershop. But a couple of boys who came in early this morning were getting their first haircut in a barbershop. It makes an impact on them just by bringing them in to take part in a positive male experience. And it allows us to pay it forward.” Continue reading “Minneapolis Barbershop Fades of Gray Donates Free Haircuts to School Kids”