Twice a month Angela Dezwart and her coworker James Jones pack up their personal hair styling equipment and bring it up to Our Place for a volunteer hair cutting program.
There, patrons of the downtown outreach centre get free haircuts and trims.
“Just because you don’t have a home doesn’t mean you don’t want to look good,” Dezwart said.
However, Dezwart and Jones were having troubles coordinating their equipment between their stations at Fish Hair Salon and Our Place, since each trip required them to pack up a significant amount of specialty products.
“They don’t have scissors, trimmers, blow dryers,” Dezwart said. “They don’t have products or any basic things, and they don’t have that much funding.”
That changed when one of Dezwart’s clients heard about the program while getting his hair cut.
“He said he wanted to help, and just wrote up a cheque for $1,500,” she said. “My face dropped. I was so speechless, it’s hard not to cry in that moment because you’re so blown away.”
The client wrote out the cheque to Dezwart, didn’t want a tax receipt and wanted to stay anonymous.
That day Dezwart took the funding and bought a heap of hair styling products.
“I went and bought all new blow dryers, clippers, trimmers, scissors, capes… everything you could need,” she said.
The client’s generosity spurred on more kind acts; while shopping for the products at Cosmo Prof, Dezwart was given stacks of samples of hair oils and products by staff. Dezwart’s employer donated hair styling products and sprays, and another client, a nurse, dropped off gloves, alcohol swabs and hand sanitizer for use at Our Place.
“It was so nice, we had all the products and all the fancy tools. I think the clients at Our Place were more excited than us!”
With the new tools Dezwart and Jones can now offer more to their Our Place clients.
“We do full consultations, and now we could also offer eyebrows, beards, hair products and things for their scalps,” Dezwart said. “It makes them hold their head a little higher.”
Now Dezwart is on a mission to continue the kindness, and is looking to collect men’s clothing and shoes for Our Place, since there’s always a shortage. So far she’s started a small collection, but is happy to take in any donations.
Anyone who is interested in donating men’s clothing can either drop them off directly at Our Place at 919 Pandora Ave. or bring them to Fish Hair Salon at 1227 Broad St.