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Boys and girls will be clean cut and fashionable for the first day of school today, thanks to the generosity of Wilson barbers and stylists.
The “Back to School Giveaway” at the Reid Street Community Center brought together 15 barbers, four stylists and a beautician to offer free haircuts to Wilson children. The event was one of several free haircut opportunities in the county this weekend.
Curtis R. Tyson, barber at Exclusive Cutz and Styles, was the prime organizer of the Reid Street event.
“We do it because me and a couple of other guys got long criminal records in Wilson, and all of our life we had been taking from Wilson, so it’s time to give back,” Tyson said.
“We’ve got A Cut Above Barber School here that brought six students out, DiFrent Level Barber Studio, Kings and Queens Barbershop with owner Chris Batts. We all came out together,” Tyson said. “For some of these kids, this might be the only haircut they get all year.”
Christopher Batts of Kings and Queens Barbershop and Beauty Salon said he wanted to help out.
“We just wanted to be a part of this movement to actually do something positive for the kids in the city of Wilson,” said Batts. “We’re trying to do something positive and constructive to help our youth that may not be able to afford to get a haircut.”
Batts thanked all of the other barbershops and stylists who participated.
“We commend them for coming together with us and making this a success,” Batts said.
Last year, the event was at the Outreach Center on Goldsboro Street in Five Point but outgrew the spot.
“We are doing it on a bigger scale this time,” Batts said. “We really didn’t see this many people coming out, but we are prepared. We have plenty of food and drinks. We are just grateful and thankful that we can give back to the community and hopefully brighten someone’s day.”
Organizer Nigel White said this is the third annual event to help the youth of Wilson.
White said 300 cuts were given last year and more people showed up this year at Reid Street.
“I just want to thank Reid Street for reaching out to us and letting do it here. Last year we did it at Outreach Center, and it was so packed that people’s couldn’t move.”
Whitney Farmer of Wilson took three children, A.J., Dyson and Jayden Farmer, to get their hair cut.
She said the visit to the hair-cutting event saved her $30.
“I think it’s very good for the community,” Farmer said.
“It’s pretty good for them to do this. It’s great. They’re giving back to the community and making a lot of people happy,” said Marqkeys Davis of Wilson.
Gloria Ellis-Williams of Wilson took daughter DeBrasia Merrill for a weave.
“It’s my first time attending, but I really love it,” said Ellis-Williams.
Keisha Williams came from Rocky Mount with her daughter.
“They said you need to get down here,” Williams said. “I love all this that’s going on. I had lost everything last month, and this really helped me out. Somebody broke into my house and took everything — my kids’ clothes, their shoes, money, the TVs. They took everything. I’ve got to start all over, but this right here is a blessing.”
Cynthia Campbell of Wilson called the event “very special.”
“They are giving stuff back to the community,” Campbell said. “I was here with them last year and this year and will be for many years to come.”