Free back to school haircuts! – Something good happened in Erie, 8/23/2019

Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:

“Ah, to be a kid again.” How many times have you heard that? You’ll see a kid frolicking in the yard, running around having fun, and someone will comment on how easy and carefree those youthful years were. What a bunch of crap.

Being a kid is hard because it never takes long to learn a truth as old as time – we are all born equal, but we don’t stay that way for long. Most of the work of being a kid involves noticing differences: taller or shorter, bigger or smaller, black or white or blue or red or yellow.

Then kids go to school and try to make friends. Well, guess what? In any classroom full of little kids, there is a whole host of weird attributes just waiting to be noticed. Differences. Timmy’s shoes are on the wrong feet. Susie’s hair is a hot mess on fire. Lonnie has a funny name. Hah! Never heard of a name like that. Lonnie.

It hurts when someone notices something you don’t like about yourself. Even worse when the thing you don’t like is something you can’t even control, like how rich your parents aren’t. When you show up on the first day of school with the worn out shoes your brother used to wear and hair growing out of your head, it’s the sort of thing that makes you want to be invisible, or stay home.

It is into that jungle of anxiety that enters Michael Hooks. Michael started a non-profit, Michael Making Lives Better (“MMLB”), that began shelling out free back-to-school haircuts for any kid entering preschool to 12th grade back in 2006. Now in its 14th year, Hook’s back to school bash will take place this Saturday, August 25, outside of Pfeiffer-Burleigh school on E. 12th Street between French and Holland Streets.

But wait, there’s more! On top of the free haircuts to any kid that shows up, Michael Hooks will be cooking breakfast and lunch, giving away backpacks filled with supplies, and 1,000 pairs of new shoes!

So as your news feed floods with photos of all those proud kids in their favorite back to school gear, remember that not all kids are so lucky. Then remember that Michael Hooks is doing everything in his power to help those less fortunate kids, so that they can walk into school on that first day with confidence. If Michael’s efforts inspire you, you can donate to the cause or volunteer your time here.

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