Evanston shops treat kids to free haircuts for school

If kids didn’t take the pledge, they might hear Brigitte “Gigi” Giles’ clipper slow down.

Like any good educator, Giles, the owner of Ebony Barber Shop, 1702 Dodge Ave., wanted to make youngsters in her chair understood the larger message behind the back-to-school haircuts they were receiving.

“I asked, ‘You know we’re doing this so you do good in school,” said Giles, recalling the dialog. “I’m going to stop cutting if I don’t hear you.”

Ebony Barber Shop, along with the Cutting Edge Gallery, located a few doors down at 1706 Dodge Ave., partnered with the city of Evanston’s Youth and Young Adult Division, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, and Family Focus-Our Place to give free haircuts Aug. 31 to young boys, Kindergarten through ninth grade.

In addition to the haircuts, the children also received school supplies and lunch.

Giles was following in the footsteps of her father, the late Marshall Giles, who quietly would give back to the community by providing haircuts for youngsters in need.

“She wanted to continue the tradition,” said Kevin Brown, the city’s community services manager, who said Giles approached officials with the idea.

A simple activity like hair cuts can be a boost to young people’s self-esteem, Brown said.

“These kind of things don’t show up on anybody’s statistical analysis, but they actually do make a difference” by showing that people care, he said.

Balloons and streamers were decked out in front of the barber shops.

During the course of the afternoon, Giles, along with fellow barbers Jason Loyd, James Collins, and Donna Walker and Renee Noelle from the nearby Cutting Edge, gave haircuts to 69 youngsters.

Walker said “it was really enjoyable” giving back to the community.

After their haircuts, a couple of the youngsters who had never had their hair cut by a woman before, “couldn’t stop smiling,” Walker observed. “They were smiling all the way out the door. That was the best part of all of this.

“It makes you feel good.”

1 Comment

  • News from Evanston this week | Evanston Review

    […] Evanston shops treat kids to free haircuts for school […]

    2014-09-08 12:10:20 | Reply

Modal