Adventure Friends, a local youth community group co-led by Kimberly Johnston, is spearheading an initiative to make this school year brighter for disadvantaged students. The group's upcoming "Haircut Drive" is garnering support from various local businesses and volunteers, all coming together to ensure every child is ready for the new school year.
The event will occur from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Yelm Community Center, 301 Second St. SE. Crossroads Church Prairie Christian Center and In Living Water Foursquare Church paid the deposit and fees for the event.
The inspiration behind the initiative came when the Yelm school district revealed that 218 students identified under the McKinney-Vento Act needed support. These students often face difficult circumstances and may need access to basic necessities, including haircuts.
Recognizing a simple haircut's impact on a child's self-esteem and confidence, Johnston and her Adventure Friends group decided to step in and make a difference.
The initial challenge was securing enough resources to provide all students with haircuts.
Johnstone approached local hair stylists and was fortunate to receive hair vouchers from the Clip Joint and Hairwox 2. However, the demand exceeded the available vouchers, prompting the group to turn to the community for assistance.
"We didn't think we would have enough donations from the community to cover all the kids, so we decided to post about it on Facebook," Johnstone shared.
The response was overwhelming, with an outpouring of support from individuals willing to contribute their time and skills. Hairdressers, including HairMasters, volunteered their services, showing the power of social media in bringing people together for a worthy cause.
The haircut drive is a collaborative effort showcasing the strength of community partnerships. Johnstone worked closely with the school district and other local organizations to ensure the event's success. The event won't be limited by RSVPs; instead, it welcomes all children in need of haircuts.
Local businesses have also stepped up to contribute to the cause. Farrelli's Pizza is set to donate 15 pizzas, while Gilham Bakery and Breakfast provides cupcakes, adding a sweet touch to the event. City Gates Ministry is offering essential supplies, including vitamin water, gloves, hand sanitizer and paper plates.
Johnstone emphasized the importance of these partnerships.
"It takes a lot of cooperation for a lot of people to come together and do this,” she said. “We work well with the school district and other people to make it work."
Grocery Outlet is another local business that has lent its support to the haircut event by donating water.
Adventure Friends has plans for a hygiene drive at Dollar Tree later this month. Through this event, the group intends to support the Yelm school district, Love and Abound and City Gates Ministry.
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