As Christmas approaches, Ave Salon hairstylist Mandie Barnes decided to do a good deed in the spirit of the holiday: give free haircuts to the homeless in Utah.
The idea was inspired by another hairdresser in New York also doing pro bono work for the homeless.
"I wanted to do it around Christmastime," says Barnes in a video filmed by production company CIRCA3. "I thought, this is the reason for the season. I want to give back and kind of remember what Christmastime is all about."
With the help of volunteer Brook Brian, Barnes organized the event on Dec. 19 at Ogden Rescue Mission. They were able to get several experienced stylists to contribute, and help the homeless who could use a little hair maintenance. Local businesses and friends donated supplies, food, and even clothing like hats and socks.
In addition, Standard Examiner reports Barnes and friends aim to donate 300 turkeys in a food drive for families in need, and people in shelters, over the holidays.
"I feel human again. It's awesome, bringing a little tear to my eye."
"I feel like a haircut can go a long ways for someone," says Barnes "Whenever someone comes in the salon, or even here today, I just feel like a haircut gives them an extra boost of confidence maybe to find a job, or just feel good about themselves for the holidays. Hopefully they'll just feel better walking out the door than they did walking in."
"[It] means a lot to me, it make me feel like I’m respectable again, you know?"
Barnes, and the New York barber aren't the only ones giving free haircuts to the homeless. Stylist Nasir Sobhani, also known as "The Streets Barber," has been donating his services in Australia, as well. Check out his story here.