We provide at-risk citizens in our local communities with free haircuts and grooming services. These services act as a catalyst to motivate them and get them ready for work and school. As we provide these grooming services, we build relationships with them that will lead to restoration of their dignity, self-confidence, and a positive sense of Self, and help them to become people who develop a heart to pay it forward according to their gifts.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
Derek Thompson volunteered to spend a few hours cutting hair for needy kids on a Saturday at The Salvation Army.
Derek and three other volunteers cut hair for 35 kids that day and he was hooked!
"One little boy in particular was about 8 years old, very shy, and withdrawn. I could tell he had no self-esteem. When I asked him how he wanted his hair cut, he shrugged his shoulders and looked at the floor. His mom gave me permission to do whatever made him 'look like the other kids at school.' I gave him the current cut that kids were wearing and handed him the mirror. . . . The moment he saw his image in the mirror, his entire countenance changed! His eyes widened, his complexion flushed with color! He jumped up from my chair and ran to his mom, yelling in a loud, happy voice, 'MOMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!'
"At that moment, I realized that for kids, a new haircut or hairstyle affects the way children feel about themselves. They feel like they 'fit,' they feel like all the other children. It is a simple thing, but for a child with low self-esteem, it can make a huge difference, just like a new pair of shoes or a new outfit to wear.
"That experience never left me. Since then, I've seen it happen over and over and over...."
In 2013, Derek and his wife, Regina Thompson, launched Hands of Favor as a non-profit. Derek is a professional hair stylist who decided to give to the under-served during his retirement years. “I've been hooked on the happy faces ever since! We build relationships, listen to the people, find out what they need, and repair lives as best we can, like our slogan, 'Restore, Renew, Motivate.'”
A professional haircut makes a huge difference in whether people are motivated to seek employment or go to school, or to even be seen in public.
Therefore, it affects performance and productivity. And when they look better, other people treat them better.
Unfortunately, for people who are struggling to feed and clothe their families, pay for transportation, insurance, and medication, and everything else, the decision of whether they can go to the barber or the salon is put on hold or not done at all.
Our clients tell us our haircuts helped them feel renewed and ready to move forward with their lives. Many have begun to seek employment or school, whereas before they felt that it was not possible due to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, a low self-image, and little self-worth.
We are overjoyed to be able to do our part to help people regain a sense of dignity and acceptance in their lives, and we are motivated to continue to do so, as there will always be a need.