Hundreds of students and parents gathered at the Kickapoo Tribal Health Center (KTHC) for the second annual Back to School Haircut event, where several free backpacks and school supplies were distributed and free haircuts were given Wednesday, July 30.
According to Melody Martin, KTHC Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, over 250 backpacks filled with school supplies were given to residents of Pott. County in a span of 25 minutes.
Martin explained events like this are important for all members of the surrounding communities because it provides a need often found in small rural areas.
For mother of two, Shyla Field this event came at a time when her family needed it most and she was happy to see her son, Shaun Friedline, receive his backpack and haircut.
"It's awesome. It's very helpful because (my) husband just got laid off and we weren't really sure what we were going to do...but this made me feel better because (Shaun) actually gets to get a hair cut and get a backpack so it's awesome," Field said.
Field also explained she feels events like Back to School Haircuts is important because it's both beneficial to people and brings the community together.
"It helps everybody out and it brings everybody together. There's no judgement. If somebody just can't afford something and needs a little help it's awesome to have in this small community," Field
Martin explained this event was sponsored by KTHC and Dobson Technologies, which donated 120 backpacks for the cause and numerous hairstylists who donated their time to give haircuts.
In addition to free backpacks and haircuts, attendees of the event could also get their picture taken at the free photo booth run by MVP Photo Booth employee, Kyle Montes-Valdivia.
"I love coming out here. The Kickapoo Tribe — they've been great to us and we love coming out here. The thing I love the most about it is the kids are so appreciative and they show it and they're so grateful. It's great," Montes-Valdivia said.
For Martin it warms her heart to see so many people utilize the event and she's happy the KTHC could give back to the community.
For more information on the KTHC and to learn about more future KTHC community outreach activities visit okkthc.com.