Last Sunday, over 30 children and their families passed through the door of Divine Connections Unisex Salon in Downtown Chattahoochee.
Salon owner Naimah Miller, her staff, and a handful of volunteering stylists from other salons, were giving out free hair styling and cutting services to local children.
“I was inspired by God,” said Miller.
The idea for the first-ever Community Give Back Event at the salon came to her while Miller was visiting her son out of state.
“I was thinking of ways to give back,” added Miller. “I wanted to give back to the children in our community.”
Miller said the vision of a free hair benefit for local children entered her mind, and she credits God directly for being the one to put it there.
Upon returning home to Chattahoochee, Miller spoke with her staff of stylists at the salon and shared her idea with them – it would be a long day of cutting and styling hair, but also a day that would be offered to local families without any payment.
“It’s hard to get someone to be okay with doing hair for free,” said Miller. “But all my girls agreed.”
The plan was put into the works, with other stylists from nearby salons joining in to offer their services once they heard of the event.
“Everyone was on board,” said Miller.
From Quincy, Joseph Woods with Kuts 4 Kings + Queens came to Chattahoochee to assist the Divine Connections crew, and Miller said other stylists, Shayla “Erica” Grace and Zyaree Garner both volunteered their services for the day and joined Divine Connections stylists Genaya Miller, Shariona Corker, Makenzie Knight and Naimah Miller.
So on Sunday, January 29, Divine Connections opened its doors and offered free haircuts or styles to children in the community.
Loc retists, braids, ponytails, lemonade braids, box and knotless braids, and other styles were offered to local children – and Miller said each child walked out of the salon with smiles on their faces.
“It was worth it just to see the smiles on the children and parents’ faces,” said Miller.
Miller said that some of the families who came in on Sunday were unable to currently afford hair services, and the stylists were blessed to be able to help each child look their best, regardless of financial situation.
“I love making a person feel good about themselves and feel good about how they look,” said Miller. “It meant a lot to me, letting local children know we care about them.”
Miller said it wasn’t just stylists who were pitching in – but some of her regular clients also offered up services; one brought a popcorn machine and distributed free popcorn to the kids, others helped keep an eye on children.
“All of my clients were on board with this event,” said Miller. “It was a great turnout, and we are really happy.”
Already, Miller and her crew are looking forward to making this year an annual one – and Miller already knows that next year, it’s going to be bigger and better.
Miller said that volunteers for next year’s event will be welcome, even if you aren’t a stylist.
“Anybody is welcome to come and help,” said Miller.
Those who are interested in pitching in can do so by contacting Miller at (850) 743-3542.
Miller concludes with the knowledge that the day after her event, on Monday morning, nearly 40 children woke up, and went to school with a fresh style on their heads.
“We were able to give our children something really meaningful,” she concluded. “It was just a fun-filled, joyful day.”
Ashley Hunter – email@example.com