KAILUA-KONA — In an effort to provide hoodies, shirts, school supplies and haircuts, Umekes, Boss Cutz and 101 Salon have teamed up with the Young Professional’s Network of the West Hawaii Association of Realtors to accomplish just that.
“As much as the community has given us as a small business, it is our job to give back,” said Boss Cutz owner Jason Leau.
Leau has a strong personal connection to the Back-to-School Bash and Clothing Drive. Life wasn’t easy when he was growing up so he sympathizes with families doing everything they can just to get by.
“My mom is a single mom,” Leau said. “I am one of three boys, and growing up and seeing the struggle of what it is for a parent to get supplies for kids. That is part of the reason I started cutting hair. We either could not get the haircuts we wanted or we could not afford haircuts at all. Now, I have been able to see just how much one person can help another person.”
The bash will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 28 at Ilima Court in Kailua-Kona. Additional barbers from Honolulu will be flying in this year. Games and bouncy castles will be on hand as will opticians performing free eye checks.
The event is a collaboration between different organizations and smaller businesses in an effort to, as said by Leau, give back.
This is the first year that the Young Professionals Network is getting involved, and the group is running a clothing drive, the first time the drive will feature that perk.
The goal, according to the chair of the Young Professionals Network, Jonika Macdonald, is to clothe around 500 children. The event also designed to help kids in kindergarten through seventh grade perform to the best of their ability by providing them with the supplies they need.
“It is nice to see that a couple of local business owners are able to get together and provide a necessity for our community,” said Macdonald. “They are able to give back to these kids. These foster homes and single parents are struggling at this time of year to give back to their kids and make sure that they are ready and prepared for the new school year. It is touching and inspiring.”
The event has been growing tremendously, and its organizers hope it continues to do so.
“It has been growing every year,” said Umekes owner Nakoa Pabre. “It has been a great turnout. This year, we are looking to fill 500 backpacks with school supplies and name tags.”
There are eight different donation drop locations this year. They are the Livingston Realty at Captain Cook, LUVA Real Estate at Pines Plaza, Island Home Realty EXP at the Pottery Terrace, HomeBridge Financial at KBXtreme Office Buildings, Coldwell Banker Vacations above Planet Fitness, Wells Fargo at the Kuakini Towers, Prime Lending at the shops at Mauna Lani and Fidelity National Title at the Queens Shops.
The school supply drop off runs until July 26.