Good people, like you, live a certain way of life. You always try to do the right thing and give back in one way or another. It is in your nature to not always put yourself first. You’re the type of person who will stop and help an elderly person in need and if you see an animal in distress, you instantly grab your phone and see if there’s a rescue facility nearby. When you walk down a city street, and you see someone who is clearly down on their luck, looking hungry, tired and in need of compassion, you know exactly what to do and that’s not avert your eyes or pretend like they don’t exist. You are a good person who likes to do good things, and that is a beautiful trait to have.
Sometimes when you’re nose-deep in the day-to-day, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your own life and not carve out a little time to help those around you. There are ways to make it doable, however, by breaking things down into small, achievable actions, it makes the time and effort seem a little less intimidating. Since many of you are salon professionals, we’re going to position these suggestions in a way that falls right in line with your skill set and natural abilities. You can help your community look and feel better, and we know that because you’re already making the people in it look and feel better on a daily basis.
For the Kids
Let’s kick off this list and help all the “littles” in your community since they’re going to be the ones running the world while we’re all old and gray (well, some of us will have excellent gray-coverage going on, but you get what we’re saying). Here are three things you can easily do that won’t require much time from you (or your staff if you are a salon owner).
- Sponsor an enrichment program in your community. Many after-school care centers, park districts and local community outreach organizations have various programs occurring throughout the school year and summer that often require and rely on donations and sponsorships. Contact the director and see what you can do to help. For instance, sponsor a program that helps children learn to read. Buy some reading and writing supplies, have your clients donate a book that is age-specific and volunteer your time.
- Contact your local foster care service organization and provide haircuts to those kids in need. And when it is homecoming or prom season, see if there are any girls or boys who need any updos or hairstyling done for their special night out.
- Participate in career day. There’s a definite win-win in doing this. First, you’re enlightening future generations on all the great things hairdressers can do AND put the hairdressing community and profession in a positive light, because let’s face it, cosmetologist don’t get the level of respect they are rightfully due. And to really make an impact at career day, bring some models with you who have beautifully styled hair to showcase your work and give the kids a visual example. To take it a step further consider having your models resemble characters the kids can relate to-like Tony Stark from Iron Man or Queen Elsa from Frozen.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill
For the Homeless & In Need
Due to the recession, the unemployment rate, the politicians, the prison system, the lack of mental health awareness, and everything in between, the homeless rate in the United States is heart wrenching for many to accept. It doesn’t matter if you’re an urban dweller or if you live in the ‘burbs or a country bumpkin’, there are people in your community who need your help. Some may not be completely homeless just yet, but pretty close to it. Here are a few ways someone like you can help someone in need:
- Help a person with their resume. Even if you don’t think you’re all that great at grammar and punctuation, at least provide them with the technology to create one. The use of your computer to draft a resume or sitting side-by-side while they search online for a job is going towards the greater good.
- Yes, these people need clothes, food and shelter, and that’s a given. They also need a haircut, a new look, a clean shave, and the confidence that comes with a quality salon service. Donate your time, your salon and your talent.
- Another way you can make a person look and feel great is by creating some “care kits.” These are kits stocked with trial size shampoo/conditioner and personal hygiene items like soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush—items they may not have quick access to. For instance, create “You’re Handsome” kits for guys that also include a comb, a razor and some shaving cream. For the ladies, “You’re Gorgeous” kits that also include a tinted gloss, some eyeliner and mascara. And for the kids, “You’re Cute” kits that include some detangler, a wide-tooth comb and a fun bath time toy. And since this is an expense, you can get empty trial size plastic bottles/dispensers at your local drugstore and get clients on board by having them bring in their drugstore purchased shampoo and conditioners for a “bottle drop-off” in which they will get a special offer from you when they purchase some professional salon products. And remember to talk to your clients about what you’re doing and ask if they would like to donate a dollar towards the making of a “care kit.”
- During the holidays, really commit to adopting a family in need. A lot of us say, “Oh next year I’m going to donate food or a toy or get a family hats and mittens” and then never do. Make this year the year you finally do it.
For the Elders
We’ve all been brought up in life to always respect our elders, and with respect also come care and compassion. Growing old isn’t fun, especially when you have lost the ability to care for yourself. And a trip to the salon or barber shop or the chance to engage in conversation with others is something a lot of today’s senior citizens don’t get to enjoy all too often. This is where you can step in and help out.
- Volunteer your time and services at a local nursing home and give haircuts, shaves and sets to the men and women living there who either don’t have someone on staff who provides this service, don’t have the finances to indulge in this luxury or don’t have anyone who can drive them off-site to obtain it.
- While you’re creating those generous and helpful kits for those in need, create some “I Care” kits for the elderly folks either living in a nursing home or living alone who can’t get to the store as often as they would like. A number of these individuals are also living on a fixed income and something like hand lotion isn’t something they can easily purchase.
- And while you’re there, take an extra hour out of your day and just talk. That’s one of the biggest gifts you can give someone. Be an ear or share a story. That human interaction and connection is crucial to happiness. Even if you’re reading someone the newspaper who can’t do it on their own. It’s these little things that really make all the difference.
If you have an idea or have done anything on your own or as a group, we would love to hear more about. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.