As a member of the Englewood, CO Chamber of Commerce, Rosemarie Cabral has long been involved in her community. She is also privy to a great deal of community information, and was shocked to learn that 60 percent of the kids in the Englewood area schools only eat one meal a day—the one that is served in school at lunchtime. In nearby Sheridan, CO that number is 80 percent. Their families are simply too poor to provide more. Many of these kids are even living in shelters, but since teens over 16 are not allowed in the shelters, these older family members are often forced to sleep outside in the family car.

Cabral, who has owned the Cuttn’ It Loose Salon in Englewood for 29 years, was stunned. “Our salon and our neighborhood are really pretty,” she says. “But go just a couple blocks in any direction, and the kids aren’t eating!”  While she couldn’t actually feed these children, she reasoned, there was something she could do—provide them with the back-to-school haircuts that their families couldn’t afford. In mid-August, 38 area stylists, including the six that work at Cuttn’ It Loose, set up shop under tents in a nearby parking lot and spent three hours cutting kids’ hair for free. In just three hours, says Rosemarie, they did 386 cuts!

Before the event, Rosemarie posted notices on Craig’s List, made up flyers and handed them out to all of the distributor salon consultants that visit Cuttn’ It Loose, and solicited additional help from local cosmetology schools.  She also contacted all of the schools in the area to let them know that kids could come for cuts.

The cut-a-thon day was lots of fun—there were Star Wars characters on hand to pose for photos and give autographs; a performer named Pastor Bubbles played games and made animal balloons for the kids and everyone enjoyed cookies and lemonade from the Country Buffet, free water from Coca Cola and popcorn from the Englewood Community Center.  Matrix donated bags and combs and spray bottles for all of the stylists and the local Peel’s and other beauty supplies donated a variety of products. “Everyone I called contributed,” Cabral commented. The team also collected non-perishable food and donations, all of which went to local kids’ charities.

The event took some work, says Rosemarie, but since her daughter Sabrina Lemay is the co-owner of Cuttn’ It Loose, “I knew someone had my back when I wasn’t in the salon.”  Now, she says, she’s just getting started. The salon plans to do the cut-a-thon event again next year, and Rosemarie hopes to be able to involve more of the area communities and offer more cuts.