New backpacks and haircuts lift Back to School spirits

Elisabeth Dowson
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Last Tangle Hair Design’s Jackie Cave said she agreed to help out with the Salvation Army’s back to school haircut program Aug. 29 because “It’s important to go back to school with great hair.”

The Salvation Army’s Back to School program includes new hairstyles for children this year, in addition to their five-year partnership with Staples and its School Supply Drive that provides backpacks filled with all the school supplies children need to start school.

At the Salvation Army Centre on Aug. 29, Elizabeth Laverdiere, Family Advocate Worker, noted, “The Salvation Army and Staples specifically are doing their Back to School program, and then I’m with the Parents Support Network and we are doing the haircut portion. We’re doing it in conjunction with the Salvation Army’s Back to School Program.”

The Parent Support Network includes Parent Mentoring Program, Family Advocacy, Early Childhood Intervention, Family Resource Centre, Public Health and the Salvation Army.

Laverdiere and Kimberly Bilanski dreamed up the idea of back to school hair cuts while planning for the distribution of backpacks.

“We were just kind of chatting about the back to school backpacks and it just kind of came up in conversation between Elizabeth and I that haircuts would also be a crucial element, we thought,” said Bilanski.

“We sent out a letter to different salons to see who was interested,” said Laverdiere, “and we did get some. We have Last Tangle, Diamond Cuts, Trends Hair and Nails and Diane’s Hair Design. A big, big, big thank you to them for their time and chairs at their salons.

“The children registered with the back to school program and when they came in we would find them a hairdresser. It ran fairly smoothly. We had a total of about 35 children.”

“I’m very grateful,” said the mother of two youngsters. “It’s helped us a lot. It’s very good for the children.”

Staple’s Manager Sharleen Thoreson said, “For the last five years we’ve been partnered with the Salvation Army pledging donations, collecting donations through the store, donating them to the Salvation Army to distribute to the local kids within the community.” She made a point of coming to support the program on her day off.

Captain Michael Ramsay said the program has become more important than ever.

“The need’s been growing every year, and every year thanks to the community and Staples we’ve been able to meet the need.”

Earlier that afternoon, Kiwanis Swift Current donated $1,000 towards the Back to School Program. Lorne and Vivian Davis of Victory Family Church, also contributed $1,000.

“We’re part of financially supporting this school bags for the children, and our College and Career group of young adults put on a floor hockey tournament and raised $500 so we’ve matched that to help support the local community.”

Organizations: Salvation Army Centre, Family Advocacy, Family Resource Centre Victory Family Church

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