This year was no exception. I've reviewed the list of "needed" items for those going back to school. From preschool to Seniors. To say the list is insane or the fact that we pay taxes and still have to shell out over a hundred bucks on additional school supplies is just, well, crazy as hell. Since when is it imperative for a kid to take their own 5 gallon bucket of Purell to school? Oh well.
This year I was gearing up for a few free cuts and things just started pouring my way. About a month and a half ahead of time I got a text from Bill Crawford, the founder of The Team Mojo Foundation asking if I could help them out at the end of August. This is a guy that I really look up to around here and I would basically do anything to help out because I really believe in his positive messages, activities, and just way of thinking here in the valley. Absolutely is what I told him. So I was penciled in for an event for free cuts.
Two weeks ago a friend of mine casually brought to my attention this barber from Iowa named Courtney that lets gets kid free cuts if they read to him. Normally I just cut them up for free without anything at all but I really liked this idea. I'm big on earning and learning when you're young. I created a quick picture and shared it on my business' page on Facebook and tossed it out on twitter. I went in that Saturday armed with my own books, but had an overwhelmingly great response of kids who brought their own books and read as I cut their hair. I even had a woman tell me - "this is great - that's gotta be the first time he's read all summer." I thought that was funny. I quit counting after 18 or so kids that day but there were plenty and it was a blast.
A few days later the event that I mentioned Mojo asked me to do came out of nowhere. I totally forgot about it and didn't move my work schedule appropriately for my corporate gig. This was an annual Back to School Bash that the local First Christian Church puts on. I'm not what you would call a devoted Christian or religious guy - but I do look up to these folks because they are always positive, upbeat, and most important have a bunch of activities they try to get going in town - including once a year where a bunch of volunteers get together and clean up the town. This year was different because they got together with the school administration and had everything in the parking lot of the school. I was running late because of work but the amount of people there was crazy. Everyone was laughing and as I ran around the building I was blown away - there were tables set up with various groups and organizations handing out promo stuff, a bunch of games, a dunk tank, free food, free backpacks full of materials, etc. It was just awesome. I set my stuff up in the back and just started cutting. They weren't the best cuts I could deliver, which bothers me as a professional barber, but under the circumstances they got the job done. It was windy and by the time I was wrapping the last 5 or so up it was dark out and the only light I had came from a nearby Popcorn Machine. It was a challenge but it was a blast.
With that said - people only ever ask about the number. "How Many". I have no clue. I never count. Also - any time people say 'good job' or 'that was nice' it makes me feel like a real blowhard asshole because I don't want recognition or my fat head on the front of the review or a news channels website. I just want people to be a little less stressed out in a repressed area that I call home. I never remember how many, but I remember the good stories. Like when a kid gets to college or gets his first job that came from a rough background and he slips me money for a haircut and says "Man - JC used to cut my hair for free and kept me fresh cause we couldn't afford it" or that single parent or family going through stuff that tucks back a few tears or that quick hug from the single mom with a few kids really roughing it through life. It's not about a haircut. It's about loving each other, helping people out when you can, knowing right from wrong, and leading by example.
love life.. study hard!