She's raising funds to keep paying it forward!
A Nashville woman is helping out single parents by braiding their kids' hair free of charge, Blavity reports.
Brittany Starks knows what it's like to need a helping hand. At one point, she was going through a tough time following a move. She didn't have access to her children's clothes for the first day of school because they were held up in storage. A friend stepped up and gifted her children brand new book bags with two outfits for each of them. Starks never forgot how much the small gesture lifted her spirit. Now, the single mom of two is giving to others in need.
Recently, she put up a post in a Facebook group asking if any single parents needed their children's hair done as they return to school. Quickly, the post took on a life of its own, being shared almost 300 times and having more than 1,000 interactions.
"Anyone know single parents who can't afford to get their child's hair done for school? I will braid it for free! Please DM me," Starks' post read.
Pretty soon, not only did she have a trove of clients but also extra braiders who began volunteering their services.
"Update: I have over 30 kids I need help braiding. Does anyone have a space all these braiders can use? Due to the amount of children and braiders, there is not enough space," Starks wrote in an update on the original post.
That's when the community stepped in, churches and braiding shops offering their buildings and even more braiders stepping up to help with the children. Starks said that it's not just about a hairstyle; it's about making children feel mentally and emotionally prepared as they return to school.
"It boosts confidence. Some kids, they came in, they weren't smiling, they weren't talking, and then, you know, as they get their hair braided, they start opening up a little more and then when they're done, they're just smiling and so happy. It's a great thing to see," Starks said.
Between the pandemic and children navigating virtual learning, Starks said it's been hard on the children. It's important to her that she does something to boost their spirits.
"When your hair is cute, I just feel like you feel so much better about everything. [If] your hair is done, you feel confident, you go into school with a fresh start - even though COVID-19 is bringing everybody down," she added.
While Starks admits she's been exhausted getting the children prepared for school, she acknowledged that it's a labor of love and has even launched a GoFundMe to offset the cost of braiding materials.
"It's been very hard. I haven't gotten any sleep. I've been extremely tired, but it's very worth it. I feel like I'm doing it for a good cause," Starks said.
To donate to her GoFundMe, click here.
Thank you for your efforts, Brittany! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of Inside Edition/Brittany Starks Facebook