HAMILTON, Ohio — Butler Tech Cosmetology in Hamilton provides lessons daily for students learning the trade, but on Monday, students also got a strong lesson in community service and empathy.
A fresh haircut can make a person feel brand new, but for those struggling to make ends meet, it can be a luxury that not everyone can afford.
"It teaches our kids to be super grateful for what they do have, and at the same time teaches them empathy for each other," said Claudia Hubbard, cosmetology instructor at Butler Tech.
The project, called "Haircuts for the Homeless," operates every year in Hamilton. The cosmetology school brings a handful of students and local professionals to New Life Mission in Hamilton, where people in the community struggling with homelessness can receive free haircuts. Families can also receive toys for their little ones.
"We try to do this before Christmas every year, and we come back sometime around spring break, so they are all set for the holidays," said Hubbard. "We combine that with a toy drive, because many of the people in need, they have kids or grandkids, so we bring new and gently-used toys. We clean them up and let them take those for their kids and grandkids."
For a student like Allen Perez, a junior in the cosmetology program at Butler Tech, it's a relatable cause in which he's happy to participate. Perez grew up in Hamilton, and said he enjoys giving back to his community in a meaningful way.
"I always thought about giving back to my community, but I never thought about giving back in this way, so young," said Perez. "I'm still in high school and I'm already giving back to my community."