Although superheroes have always had a place in fiction, especially comic books, movies, and television, they can also have a place in real life. You do not need to fight crime or face the ultimate evil to become a superhero in your city.
Every day, ordinary citizens are performing actions that make them into heroes, at least in some people’s eyes. Two barbers have stepped up and become superheroes for their local homeless by offering free haircuts.
Mark Bustos: Barber for the Homeless in New York
Mark Bustos works as a barber in one of the high end salons in New York. Although he may work with a wealthy clientele for his day job, he heads to the streets on Sundays to provide his services for free to homeless people. He has done this since May 2012 after being inspired by a trip to the Philippines, according to News.com.au. During a trip, he paid another barber to cut the hair of local children whose families could not afford the services. He felt so rewarded that he decided to bring the idea back to the city. His girlfriend joins in by bringing along food for his clients.
Joe the Barber in the Park in Connecticut
Bustos is not the only barber around offering cuts to the homeless. Anthony Cymerys, known as Joe the Barber, is an 82-year-old retired businessmen who offers free haircuts on Wednesdays at Bushnell Park in Hartford, Connecticut. The only payment he will accept in return is a thank you and a hug. According to ABC News, he sets up shop in the park with a folding lawn chair and clippers powered by a car battery.
Cymerys’ inspiration for starting his free cuts was closer to home than Bustos’. As a veteran, he recognizes the difficulties that veterans face upon returning home, and many of them end up on the street.
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, around 12 percent of the homeless are veterans. This inspired Cymerys to look fro ways to help his fellow veterans who may be facing hard times, which expanded to helping all those in need. He also finds other ways to help out his community, including working with Meals on Wheels and volunteering at blood drives.
Why They Do It
These local barber heroes have found a way to share their talents and help others with a simple solution. Their only reward is seeing the transformation and joy in their clients. Bustos says that he always performs his cuts outside to help inspire others to find a similar way to help out those less fortunate.
Why Does a Haircut Matter?
The improvement of a person’s physical appearance, such as a clean haircut and shave, has many benefits. A simple haircut can make anyone feel better, and for those with nothing, it can make them feel like a person again. Additionally, it can help them get their life back on track. A good first impression is a significant aspect of obtaining a job, or just being accepted into society. Several psychological studies have shown the importance of first impressions. New studies have found that people make a pretty accurate–and long standing–impression of a person within the first few seconds of meeting, according to Forbes. If you cannot afford to get a haircut, then it can affect your ability to try to get a job or reintegrate into society after facing hard times.
As these two barbers demonstrate, it is easy to become a superhero in your own backyard. You just have to find a need and discover a way that your talents and skills can be utilized to help create a solution for the need. You could make a huge difference in people’s lives, just like these two superhero barbers.