A Nanaimo barber was giving kids a ‘fresh start’ Saturday, before they head back to school, with a new haircut, and some school supplies.
“I think it’s really nice and I think it’s really fun too cause I see a lot of my friends here,” said Antayeah Yateman, who’s entering grade 9.
There was a lengthy line outside a Nanaimo barbershop for much of the day.
The annual event started four years ago with one barber wanting to support his community by snipping hair.
“It’s grown every year,” said Dave Lawrence, Event Founder and Owner of That 50’s Barbershop.
“We get more and more kids coming out and more businesses donating and it’s amazing what it’s turned into.”
Throughout Saturday three hairstylists were giving their expertise, another was checking for lice and other business owners were overseeing the largest distribution of backpacks and supplies in the event’s history.
And for the first time, there were also winter jackets and boots.
“I’ve had teachers come in to say how sad it is when a kid comes to school without a winter coat, so that was for me ‘we just have to do this,’ so we bought about $800 worth of coats and boots last night,” said Lawrence.
The parents here say they really appreciate the community putting this on.
“I have seven kids, but I have four still at home and it’s like four, five hundred bucks to get all the school supplies ready. You can’t really afford it all with rent and everything being so high but this is definitely a bonus,” said Robert Yateman.
“We got a lot of kids in our house and this helps a lot,” said Jody Ignace, who has seven kids at home.
The excitement of the kids is tangible as their haircuts finish.
“It really is a fun event. I get to cut hair with my friends and get to hang out and see how happy these kids are so it’s just excellent,” said Lawrence.
A true win-win for everyone including the more than 100 kids who got their hair cut today.