There’s nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing someone’s smiling face after receiving an act of kindness. Luckily, since finding the Empowering Cuts Instagram page, we’ve had no shortage of smiles on our feed. So naturally, our curiosity peaked. What exactly is Empowering Cuts and who’s behind all that kindness? We set out to get the scoop!
Empowering Cuts is a nonprofit founded by Joshua Santiago, a Philly-based barber on a mission to make haircuts accessible to everyone. While most of us are familiar with that fresh-cut feeling, it’s an experience that’s easy to take for granted. The unfortunate reality is that many can’t afford to get their hair cut.
According to Joshua, “I know all too well what it is like to not be able to afford something as simple as a haircut. When I was a child, my father would cut my hair and mess it up every time because we didn’t have the money to afford the luxury of going to a barbershop.”
Eventually, Joshua made the decision to become a barber, an experience that would only strengthen his will to help those in need with his new found skills. “My barber used to take us to shelters, that’s how we learned to cut hair,” Joshua explained in an interview with 6 ABC News. “And for me, honestly, being able to provide a free haircut to somebody that couldn’t afford it meant more to me than to actually receive money for it.”
And so came the inspiration to start Empowering Cuts, a platform that would allow Joshua to travel across the US “providing free haircuts to the homeless, military veterans, children, and families who are experiencing financial hardships.”
A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way
From simple dreams of making people’s days a bit brighter to traveling the country spreading kindness with Empowering Cuts, it’s safe to say Joshua’s mission has come a long way! In four short years, the crew has not only teamed up with over 50 organizations nationwide to increase their impact but has also had the honor of providing free services to over 7,500 individuals across the US!
With a little more context, those smiles we mentioned earlier that have been flooding our social feeds are starting to make much more sense! Knowing that they are backed by Joshua’s kindness only adds to the heartwarming feeling we get when we catch one while scrolling. And so a giant thank you to Joshua and the Empowering Cuts team for their dedication to making the world a better place, one haircut at a time. Their impact is evident not only in the work they do, but in each and every photo they take. And we couldn’t be more glad to see it!