After almost six weeks of physical distancing and the closure of all non-essential businesses, including hair salons, shaggy bears and untamed locks are inevitable.
However, as people take the necessary steps to flatten the curve, many will be tempted to cut their hair themselves. A new community fundraiser launched by the Okanagan College Foundation is encouraging those who want to take matters into their own hands, to do so for a good cause.
Haircuts for Health Care is inviting people to open up their own self-isolation salon, and hand the scissors to their spouse or children. Every chop, snip and buzz will help raise vital funds to open the doors to a state-of-the-art new Health Sciences Centre currently under construction at the College’s Kelowna campus. The new facility will help the College continue to train frontline health care professionals, as it has since the early 1960s.
The B.C. government has contributed $15.4 million toward the $18.9-million Centre, which will be equipped with leading-edge technology to mimic modern health care workplace settings. The OC Foundation is seeking to raise $5 million in total toward construction of the project as well as support for programs and awards for students.
The Foundation is encouraging people to either donate what they would typically pay for a cut, or set a fundraising goal for their network if they go for a more creative new do.
Scott Millard, senior executive consultant at IG Wealth Management, was one of the first people to get involved. Preferring his hair very short, he’s set a $1,000 goal and will let his six year-old son Ross use clippers when he hits the milestone. He’s already raised more than $800.
“It feels great to see the support,” says Millard, adding many of his colleagues at IG have been contributing to the fundraiser. “My wife is a nurse, and knowing that we’re going to have more quality trained nurses in the valley is a good thing.”
Haircuts for Health Care launched last weekend, has already raised more than $3,000 with nearly 90 people donating. It’s now on track to receive a major boost from Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.
“During this difficult time, it’s great to see the community pulling together in support of education for the next generation of health care heroes,” says Hamilton.
“I’m not blessed with much hair these days so I doubt a cut would inspire significant support. So, I’m challenging the community to get involved. When the campaign reaches $10,000, I will personally donate $5,000.”