For the past six years, the Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council’s Community Services Committee has helped sponsor an annual “Back to School Free Haircut Day” in conjunction with Michael Hooks of Michael’s Hair Salon in Erie, Pa. In 2006, only 30 or 40 people showed up to the event. This year, it was more than 700.
This year, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison Ron Oliver says more than 700 children took part and, on top of the free haircuts from Hooks and a team of volunteer stylists, each child received a backpack of school supplies and a children’s book. Says Oliver:
For the children to start school looking good and wearing a new book bag will make them feel good inside about school.
Hooks, who says his first “free haircut day” attracted only about 40 people, told GoErie.Com:
We are in hard economic times….For some families who have three or four kids, that's $30 or $40 they're saving in haircuts. When you add in the backpacks, that could save families a couple hundred dollars.
“This means a lot to me,” said Patricia Spencer, who brought her son, Tavion, 8, and daughter, Shatonia, 10, to the event.
They're doing a wonderful job with it. Some people might have a lot of kids and can't afford the extra cash for the haircuts.