A barbershop in Nanaimo is once again offering free haircuts for veterans in the week before Remembrance Day.
Dave Lawrence, owner of That 50’s Barbershop, says this is something he has done over the past few years and is excited to offer free haircuts for veterans again.
“It was something I started a couple of years ago, where I just thought it would be a help. I would always kind of have this, like, a bit of a rush before Remembrance Day,” Lawrence said in an interview with CHEK News. “It was just something nice, I wanted to do, to kind of show support.”
He says he hadn’t realized how much of an impact a free haircut would have on people.
“Last year, I had a guy that he was a regular customer, and I knew he was a vet, and he just happened to come in like a day or two before Remembrance Day. And I said, ‘Oh, this one’s on the house, this is what we do here and explain it to him,” Lawrence said. “It brought him to tears, and it was really emotional for him. And just that nice gesture was just something that just absolutely shocked him.”
This isn’t the only way that Lawrence gives back to the community. Each year at the barbershop, he also runs a Fresh Start: Back to School donation drive to send children back to school with supplies. He also offers free haircuts during this period.
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“Nanaimo is the community that I grew up in. So I just feel like helping out where I can is what I should do. I love this community, this community has been here for me, and they’ve helped me out,” Lawrence said.
“When my shop was broken into people supported me and gave me money to help buy new tools and stuff, so I could keep going and when COVID first hit and I had to shut down, people gave and bought gift certificates and stuff so that I could keep supporting my family. So, to me doing these things, it takes some work and it takes some doing and stuff, but it’s what I need to do. It’s a need I feel that I have to fulfill.”
To book a free haircut for a veteran, Lawrence says appointments can be made as usual on the barbershop’s website or by phone, and they just need to mention they are a veteran for it to be free.
He says he normally only sees about 10-15 people for these free haircuts, but he is hoping to get the word out more so he can do more.