Hair stylists give up tips if people bring in food for Rowan Helping Ministries

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Stylists at a local hair salon are giving up their tips this month and asking clients to donate food for Rowan Helping Ministries instead.
Four stylists at Just Hair on Arlington Street, formerly Loflin’s, have issued a friendly challenge to all Rowan County beauty salons to do the same.
“Just think, if all the hair dressers do this and every client they have, they’ll never be out of food in the summertime,” Carol Arnold said.
Arnold came up with the idea of accepting soup and pasta in lieu of tips last week when she heard the food pantry was down to a one-day supply of many staples. July is the slowest month for food donations at the pantry, which provides food to 85 families a day.
Arnold said she worried kids who are already going without the breakfast and lunch they usually eat at school also are finding bare cupboards at home.
In less than a week, clients at Just Hair donated a large pile of green beans, peanut butter and macaroni and cheese, as well as fresh produce.
“Our clients are very generous,” Arnold said.
Stylist Jeannie Yost decided Just Hair should challenge other salons to forgo tips and collect food donations. Yost called the Post to issue the challenge.
“If even one other salon does it, they will get twice as much food,” she said.
Challenges are a great way to encourage donations because they make giving fun, said Kyna Foster, executive director for Rowan Helping Ministries.
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” Foster said. “I am always amazed at how creative our community is in trying to figure out ways to help others.”
The community has responded to RHM’s plea for more food, and the pantry shelves are once again full, Foster said.
But with nagging unemployment and foreclosures on the rise, it won’t take long for the agency to use up that surplus.
“This is the time of year when demand increases and the amount of food decreases,” Foster said.
People don’t give as much in the summer because they are on vacation or just forget about donating.
Just Hair stylists Cathy Stewart and Linda Miller are encouraging their clients to remember that people are hungry this summer.
Arnold’s three grandchildren, visiting from South Carolina, donated pasta and cookies to the collection Thursday before their grandmother cut their hair.
Makenzie, Evyn and Hayden Upton helped stack the food overflowing from bins and boxes in the salon.
“I’m trying to teach them to help the less fortunate,” Arnold said.
If your salon accepts the challenge, let us know.
Others helping
• Rowan County YMCA?is using a grant to provide backpacks of food to children who eat at the soup kitchen. Kids take the backpacks home on Fridays to have food for the weekend, then return them on Mondays to be refilled by the Y.
• Nick and Daniel Overcash, sons of Paige and Jeff Overcash in Rockwell, asked neighbors to put canned goods on their   porches. The boys collected and delivered 485 pounds of food.

Every day at Rowan Helping Ministries:

• 85 families take home food from the pantry
• 150 to 180 people eat lunch at the soup kitchen
• 40 to 45 people sleep in the overnight shelter, up from 29 people last summer
• 1 child (at least) sleeps in the overnight shelter. The shelter has not had a night without children since July 2010.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264 or