At the beginning of 2020, Bell was working in a nursing home. When COVID hit and everything changed, Bell had a breakthrough.
Part of her job was helping residents stay well-groomed; however, Bell was unsatisfied with the generic razor provided, so she invested her own money in higher quality tools. Residents, families, and fellow staff members quickly noticed Bell's natural talent and praised her expertise. She was a natural at making people feel and look good!
This inspired Bell to enroll in Buckner Barber School. To become a Class A Barber, Bell had to accumulate 1,000 hours of experience. So, Bell did what she does best: she got creative.
Years ago, Bell visited The Stewpot to get a few teeth pulled through our dental program. She remembered that The Stewpot partners with barber school students to offer free haircuts to clients, so she reached out on behalf of herself and her classmates.
In May, Bell and the Buckner Barber School set up shop in The Stewpot's dayroom and provided free haircuts for 3 hours! The room was full of smiles as Bell and her team literally lifted weight off of client's shoulders.
When people look their best, they can feel their best! Bell noted the importance of a fresh haircut for boosting self-esteem, and also as important preparation for job interviews. This wasn't just a one-off visit; Bell and two other Buckner Barbers returned again in June, and Bell offers free haircuts on her own time, too. You might see her on Thursdays outside Our Calling cutting hair, or offering haircuts by the pedestrian bridge in the medical district.
Bell is only a few hours away from becoming a fully licensed barber, but she says she has plans to return to The Stewpot and Our Calling when she can. Long term, she wants to partner with organizations like The Stewpot to offer employment support: resume workshops, mock interviews, and haircuts to help our neighbors land on their feet!
We're so thankful for volunteers like Bell who share their time, expertise, and vision with us! If you'd like to share your gifts with us, visit us at thestewpot.org/volunteer. We'd love to see you soon!