Sunday August 19, 2012

When Becky Miner saw a Facebook posting recently about one family’s struggle to pay for back-to-school supplies, it struck a chord. Long community-minded, she remembered an outreach program when she lived in the South that offered free haircuts to low-income schoolkids.

A Williamstown resident who operates a Zumba in the Berkshires program in North Adams, Miner floated the free cuts idea to her students, several of whom were professional hair stylists. Before long, she had six volunteers and an event -- the "Free-for-All Hair-A-Thon."

It takes place today from
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Miner’s Zumba in the Berkshires
studio, 69 Union St., at the intersection with Canal St.
in North Adams.

Any schoolchildren from kindergarten to grade 12 are eligible, Miner told me in a phone interview last week, emphasizing that the service is intended for families in need and that children should be accompanied by an adult.

"We won’t do any stylings or special cuts or treatments," she said, "just standard
haircuts."

And, in order to move along quickly, Miner asked that parents shampoo their own children before bringing them to the Hair-A-Thon.
The stylists will not be washing the children’s hair before cutting it.

It will be first-come, first-served, Miner said, with the last haircuts of the day given to those still in line at 3 p.m.


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Stylists are volunteering from the Clip Shop salons in Williamstown and Pittsfield, from Partings in Clarksburg and from Klipper Kings in North Adams, she said.

Haircuts for children can average $20, Miner said, so a family sending several youngsters back to school can face a hefty bill on top of school supplies and outfits for those who have outgrown last year’s fashions.

She asked those who can afford haircuts to respect the needs of those who cannot and to let the Hair-A-Thon
be a service for families truly in need.

For further information,
call Miner at (413) 663-0225. If there is no answer after
11 a.m. today, you may have go down and check it out in person.

To reach Charles Bonenti:
cbonenti@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6211.
On Twitter: @BE_Lifestyles