By Andrea Schmauss –
No child should have to start the school year without the basics, such as a haircut or school supplies. Heading off for the first day of school can be intimidating for some, and those feelings can be compounded by low self-image and feelings of being ostracized. Over six years ago, HPD Officer EJ Jones recognized the need to help boost the self-esteem of these children and she took action. With the support of the Houston Police Department, Officer Jones organized the “Look Good Feel Good” project to prepare students for their first day of school, by offering not only haircuts and hairstyles free of charge, but hair products to maintain healthy hair. Students are also given backpacks, school supplies and personal safety information.
Pulling off a project of this magnitude requires a lot of assistance. Beginning with the tremendous support from the Houston Police Department, officers personally donate school supplies and backpacks. Leading in donations for the second year in a row are the officers at the Northeast Division who donated a total of 3,636 school supplies. Members of the HPD Community Outreach Unit, dubbed the “Blue Crew,” assisted with the pre-event organization and set up and manned the locations on the day of the event. Community volunteers from each location partnered with HPD by reaching out to the community and registered the children. Area businesses donated money and goods. And last, but certainly not least, the amazing hairstylists and barbers from all over Houston who volunteer their time and talents on a Sunday afternoon to cut and style hair which ultimately puts heartwarming smiles on the faces of many children.
The 6th Annual “Look Good Feel Good” event took place on August 24, 2014 at five locations: Fort Bend Boys and Girls Club at 5525 Hobby Road; YWCA of Houston, 6309 Martin Luther King Boulevard; Havard Boys and Girls Club at 1520 Airline Drive; Smartie Pants Academy at 4512 Highway 6 North and the Star of Hope.
Officials with the Houston Police Department said they hope the event will not only gear kids up with free stuff they’ll need for school, but give them a little extra confidence for that first day back in the classroom. For some children, this haircut is the only one they will receive until next year’s event. Thanks to the dedication of everyone involved, over 100 volunteers serviced close to 400 deserving children.
I am most grateful to Andrew Sullo with Sullo and Sullo Attorneys at Law; Nancy Griffing with 35*45 Consulting; and Lisa and Paul Normand who all generously opened their wallets when asked to help. As a community partner, I look forward to lending a hand each year. All you have to do is see children’s faces as they enter the room and witness the transformation as they look at themselves in the mirror when the stylist or barber is done. You walk away knowing you were part of bright day in the lives of these children. Thank you Officer Jones and everyone at the Houston Police Department for making this event possible.
YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTvTU5NxV3I