Barber shop giving free cuts to kids in foster care

A local barber is giving free haircuts to children in foster care, so they can have fresh cuts and a positive attitude.

Shaw McLaughlin said he found his mom's clippers when he was 14 and knew that's where he wanted his life to go. 

"I'd kept cutting my own hair, and then I started cutting my cousin's hair up and my nephew's hair. And I just always kept a pair of clippers on me since then," he said.

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Now he's living his dream of owning his own business, the Heads Up Barber Shop. 

"I think it's the artistic side of it. Being able to see something in your mind and then create it and be able to actually visualize it and put it into creation and see it tangible where you can see it. And so I think that's pretty cool," he added. 

Shaw believes in using his creativity to give back to his community. That's why he is giving free haircuts to boys at Joshua House, a residential therapeutic home for foster children who have complex traumas.  

"If we can do something for our community that we all enjoy doing, it's a win-win situation," Shaw explained. 

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Employees at Joshua House said it is important that the community invest in the kids. 

"A lot of times foster kids get the short end of the stick. There's never enough money or resources around for them," said Laura Calco, program director for Joshua House. "So just the simple act of a barbershop coming here to cut kid's hair is significantly impactful to their self-esteem, to their self-worth." 

Shaw hopes the fresh cuts give the kids a fresh start to a better life. He has owned his barber shop for 14 years. He also does back-to-school haircuts at a Gibsonton Church for the past 7 years.