A local, not-for-profit organization helps to provide haircuts to anyone in need.
It is something the people of the NL Beard and Moustache Club say we take for granted.
The club organizes monthly social events to help different organizations. Some of the charities it helps include Canadian Blood Services, Canadian Transplant Services, CleanNL and Violence Prevention NL. The club focuses on “three Cs”: community, charity and camaraderie.
Haircuts for Hope is a monthly event, which began last summer to provide haircuts for anyone in need.
“Anyone can come to get a haircut,” said Jeff Hillyard, president of the Beard and Moustache Club. “So, what we do is, we rent a community space and we get stylists from the community who volunteer to come, and anyone looking for a haircut, who cannot normally afford one, gets a professional level haircut free of charge.”
The inspiration for this event came from a group of barbers in Vancouver known as the Street Bound Barbers. They meet once a week in a local park to provide haircuts for people who are less fortunate.
Hillyard says in 2018 alone the Beard and Moustache Club has helped to give 400 people haircuts.
“It’s just something that when you look at marginalized groups, it is a very basic thing that is overlooked, and that’s something that happens a lot, and there are many factors and different things that we can do in many ways, and this is just one little thing that we can do to give back,” said Hillyard.
Hillyard says he is proud of the work he and his club do and has so far received excellent feedback from the community. Hillyard’s only hope for the future is to get a regular group of volunteers; his goal is to have 20 regular stylists to partake in Haircuts for Hope.
Jeremy Edgar, owner of Top-Notch Barber Shop, has been involved with the Beard and Moustache Club since its very first gathering in 2018. Edgar says when Hillyard approached him with the idea it was a no-brainer.
“It’s nice to give back to our community,” said Edgar. “In the hair-cutting industry, we don’t really make too much money, so giving money and stuff is a little more difficult but we can always provide our time, our skills and our effort.”
Edgar says there are almost 100 clients coming in, and everyone in attendance gets taken care of. During his volunteering, he has met people who haven’t had haircuts in five years, all the way up to 20 years.
Edgar says the human element of it all is what keeps him intrigued.
“More so, it’s nice to have a human interaction with these people because a lot of people look at people struggling and they sort of write them off and don’t even consider them a person,” Edgar said. “And it’s just nice to sit down and talk to them about who they are, where they’re from and what they been through and just have a real conversation.”
Although he knows not everyone can afford a haircut, Edgar believes everyone deserves a haircut.
This month, the Beard and Moustache Club is hosting a different event while they try to get more volunteers on board for the next Haircuts for Hope.
Jeff Hillyard hopes someday soon that the club can take Haircuts for Hope from a monthly to a weekly event because he feels no one should have to worry about a haircut.