Taking Action


Local barbershop owner surprised with award for her back-to-school help

Posted at 6:07 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 18:07:17-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Three-year-old Jeremiah Nichols is being pretty patient sitting in the barber's chair getting a fresh back-to-school haircut for his pre-school - and it's free.

His mother, Jazmyn Nichols, is thankful.

"I think that it's amazing. I mean, as much help as you can get nowadays as a parent and having the community coming together to care about families - I think that's great!"

But it wasn't just the free cut. There was also a bounce house for the kids at Fade-2-Loc Barbershop off 40th street in Newport News, along with donated school supplies from a local non-profit.

Nichols, a mother of three, says once she got word about this, she shared with her husband that she would be bringing the kids by.

"That's very exciting, too. Just because a lot of students have virtual learning doesn't mean they don't need school supplies, so I think that's great they have the school supplies, and of course, again, the activities they have for the kids. A lot of kids missed out this summer."

They are very conscious about COVID-19, so before anyone went inside the barbershop, they were greeted with a temperature check, were asked if they had any coronavirus symptoms, were offered hand sanitizer and masks were required.

Shannon Tooten, the barbershop owner, likes to stress this was a team effort - but this isn't the first time she's done this. She has provided free haircuts at a local Boys and Girls Club and for the homeless at a local church-sponsored event.

"Well, that's my way of giving back. I believe my calling is cutting hair and serving the people, so if I can combine those two, than that's what I'll have to do."

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Tooten also works part time at a community health clinic.

For all those reasons, News 3 presented her with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

When asked what she gets out of all of her community service, Tooten responded with a laugh, "Just a smile - which you can't see through the mask!"

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at takingaction@wtkr.com.

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