An Alexandria-based group is helping children in need prepare for the new school year, by providing backpacks haircuts and school supplies.
An Alexandria, Virginia-based group is helping children in need prepare for the new school year, by providing backpacks, haircuts and school supplies.
The nonprofit Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue has been helping kids kick off school on the right foot since 1998.
The organization, which accepts financial donations through its website, helps about 1,000 children a year, and plans to distribute the backpacks with the school supplies to about 50 to 60 schools, shelters and nonprofits on Aug. 16.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Willie Bailey said he founded the group following his experience growing up and not being able to afford backpacks and haircuts for school. Backpacks can be a particularly expensive item for families with limited resources.
He said there were people out there who helped him and his siblings get what they needed to attend school and he’s “just basically paying it forward.”
Barbers and beauticians will help out by giving kids haircuts in Alexandria and Fairfax. That makes the start of school a positive event for the children.
“It helps build self esteem for these kids. I remember growing up sometimes not having a haircut to start off school and you see everybody else going to school with a fresh haircut,” Bailey said.
“You get to that day, when you start school … you have everything you need to go to school, and you have a brand new haircut … and you look just like everybody else.”
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