It really began when I started packing up. It wasn’t until then that I fully realized where I was going. I have always wanted to make a difference. So why not start at the Boys and Girls Club, right? Who wouldn’t want their hair done? Who cares if I look different or if they might not think they can relate to me, I’m human too. But how exactly would they take me? Would they laugh at me? I surely hoped they could see past any difference and believe in the possibility that I could offer something.
As I walked into the building I looked up and down and felt the power of what I was about to do. It wasn’t scary, it was exhilarating. Within a minute of walking in, I was complimented on my hair (which, by the way, is bright orange and pink ). I was off to a good start. This was going to be good.
We started to set up our things: flat irons, clippers, mirrors, capes and the crowd began to grow. We were in a room with a wall of windows. It was like being in a fish bowl. The faces through the glass smiled back at us. As the time came to ask for the first group to come in, we were ready to make lasting impressions. It was our turn to make a difference.
The first group was great. They were brave and weren’t afraid to ask for what they wanted. In fact one student thought our boss needed some help. I told him he had been doing hair for 35 years hoping to gain his trust. It didn’t work. Yet in the end it was perfect. It just got better from there. Another student asked for double shooting stars shaved into the side of his head. When we asked if his mom would be okay with it he said, “ Of course. She won’t be mad if its free.” Priceless. They continued to impress us.
Minutes passed and more students began to come. They told us what they wanted to be when they grew up. They told us about their family and friends. It was magical. We only wished we could have stayed all night. But we had to pack up and say goodbye. Sometimes there really just aren’t enough hours in the day. It wasn’t goodbye for good; it was just goodbye until next time.
The best part of the time we spent at the Boys and Girls Club is the lasting effect it will have on me. I can’t wait to go back again. The smiles were all I needed to know that my fears were unwarranted. Another amazing part of the night was the teamwork with our salon. We all came together and now have a better sense of what we stand for. The gift wasn’t really from us to the Boys and Girls club, it was from them to us.