GRANITE CITY — North 25th Street bustled with activity the afternoon of Aug. 8 as Trinity United Methodist Church and Twigs volunteers held a back-to-school bash for the children of Granite City. Volunteers spent days preparing for the event, which hosted 200 to 300 children and their families.
Hairstylists met at the church and brought their equipment to give every child a back-to-school cut and style. Scissors snapped and razors buzzed as clients gave directions to stylists. As quickly as one client finished, another jumped into the chair waiting for his or her cut.
One petite 11-year-old girl, Arcella, had long, silky black hair flowing down her back. Her mom said her hair needed shaping. Arcella spoke up: “I think I would like to get it cut, at least to my shoulders.” Her mother and the stylist asked her if she was sure about such a drastic change.
“I am sure,” Arcella declared. “I want to give hair to Locks of Love.”
When her stylist had finished, she had about a 10-inch-long thick tress of hair to send to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to low-income children experiencing medical hair loss. Arcella’s gesture touched every heart in the room. The hairdressers had closed their shops early to volunteer their time and skill and little Arcella exemplified what the event symbolized — using your gifts to help others. Somewhere, Arcella’s gift is going to be appreciated by a child in need, just like these children enjoyed knowing they would be starting school with a fresh new look thanks to the stylists.
After the haircuts, families were invited to a backyard barbecue. After eating an early dinner, the volunteers distributed new school supplies.
“When you see children happy and the faces of their parents looking a little less stressed about the new school year approaching, you wish you could do this every day,” a volunteer said.
Abundant smiles and great-looking hair styles were visible at the barbecue.
“My volunteers and the people of this community are always willing to help with our work; without them we could not do all we do,” Pastor Lisa Guilliams said.
Twigs is seeking donations and volunteers. For information, email email@example.com.