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Friday, Oct 07th

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Cool cuts for kids

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Frankie T’s gives back with dozens of free haircuts, backpacks

About 50 lucky youngsters look sharp going into the new school year, thanks to a free haircut and backpack event at Frankie T’s Barbershop on Aug. 13.

Owner Frankie Tso had a similar event when he first opened in 2019. Then COVID struck and he had to close up shop until late last year.

Wary of COVID, he was hesitant to do an event this year. Then he overheard a conversation between a mother and son at Walmart. The boy wanted a haircut, but his mother said, “No, we can’t afford that now. We have to buy school supplies.”

That was enough for Tso. Just to be safe, he got a tent to open his shop to the community, offering free haircuts to pre-K through 12th grade students.

He had two other barbers – Tyson Charlie and Jules DeGroat – at the ready, and 100 free backpacks stuffed with supplies, provided by Western Sky Community Care and local businesses. The event also included live music and a bounce house to entertain guests while they waited.

Rosandra Brown brought in her granddaughter and grandson, Zaiden Morris, 9, and Allison Morris, 8.

“It was awesome. They had a little something for the kids to keep them occupied while they were waiting,” Brown said. “It really does help knowing that there’s school supplies for the kids. Especially now, when family budgets are tight.”

While the children played, she watched as others took their turns getting clipped. “There were two little boys that, once they got into their seat, they were falling asleep. Their parents had to hold up their heads,” Brown said.

Sherie Nez heard about the event on Facebook and brought five of her children – Dominique, 16; Dewayne, 13; Deeondra, 7; Damian, 5; and Desiree, 4 – who all got backpacks as well as haircuts.

“It means a lot for them to be doing something like this,” Nez said. “It helps out a lot. I have a job and everything, but I’ve got a lot of other bills. This takes a lot off of myself for a lot of other things like that.”

Tso got the idea after seeing a news item about a barbershop in New Jersey that had a similar event in 2019.

“I thought it would be good for our community,” Tso said. “If I could, I’d give a free haircut every day. But there’s bills to pay.”

By Holly J. Wagner
Sun Correspondent