Alpha Phi Alpha hosts free haircut for kids going back to school in the New River Valley

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – A New River Valley fraternity opens their doors to offer free haircuts to children before returning to school.

Dozens of children are walking with a new pep in their step after getting a fresh cut.

“I’m very thankful for it,” 11-year-old Isaiah said.

The Alpha Kappa Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity offered free haircuts at St. John’s on Depot across from Depot Park in Christiansburg.

It’s a way for the fraternity to help relieve the financial burden on parents and boost children’s confidence.

“Especially our young people. [They] are facing mental health challenges and we just wanted to give back and uplift the students’ spirits,” Dr. Tremayne O’Brian Waller, a fraternity member, said. “To let them know somebody sees them and we care.”

“I like how my hair feels and I like how he thinned it out and made it all even.” 16-year-old Kisay said.

“[The barber] also showed me a picture of how it would look,” Jonathan, 12, said. “So, I like it and I’m ready to go back to school.”

Some kids were timid when they hopped in the chair. But after every snip and blow dry, they bonded with the barbers.

Mohammed Issa, a barber at In Style Salon, remembers his mom cutting his hair growing up and kids bullying him about his look.

“You’d be surprised of how many kids get bullied by there hair,” he said. “So having a fresh cut can really change somebody’s outlook on how they look at you.”

“Your confidence is different,” Dr. Kendall Pete, the fraternity chapter’s president, said. “And sometimes school can be a very difficult place to be and to walk in with that amount of confidence starts the year right.”

It’s the fraternity’s first time hosting this event. But seeing bright smiles like the one on nine-year-old Faith’s face gives them motivation to start a new annual tradition.

Free haircuts are available again on Monday at 225 Depot St. in Christiansburg.


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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.