Young child smiling while receiving a haircut

Volunteer Spotlight- Local Barber Offers Free Haircuts at Our Shelters

Hair can hold power for a lot of people. It is a form of self expression, and a good haircut can greatly boost confidence and self-esteem. For the clients in our shelters, especially families with lots of children, good haircuts can become expensive luxuries. Things like haircuts often get pushed to the bottom of families’  list of importance, when parents are more worried about finding and keeping a job, taking care of their children, and regaining self-sufficiency.

Just before Easter this year, new-to-Austin barber Ace volunteered his time and hair-cutting skills to serve the clients at our two family shelters – The Rathgeber Center for Families and The Austin Shelter for Women and Children. The shelter staff let all of the clients know what time he would be there, and that adults and children alike were welcome to drop by and get their haircut for free. The only catch being each person needed to sweep up the area after the cut was complete.

After Ace finished up his final haircut for the day, we sat down with him to ask a few questions about what motivated him to offer this service to the families we serve. With genuine humility, he explained to us how his talent is a gift from God, and it was only right for him to use the gift he has been graciously given to serve others in his community. The timing of this being right before Easter Sunday was intentional for him, because growing up, his parents would always make sure he had a nice haircut and new outfit to look his best for Easter. And he believes everyone deserves the same.

Our hearts were filled to see the huge smiles on the client’s faces after receiving their new haircuts, and their individual and collective thankfulness was obvious. Not only did they get nice haircuts and confidence boosts, but they also received generosity and kindness from a stranger at a time they might need it the most.