Tennessee Mother Offers Free Braiding to Single Parents As New School Year Begins

A Tennessee mother has took it upon herself to help parents as they prepare their kids to start a new school year. Brittany Starks, a mother of two, was inspired from a family friend who surprised her by providing school clothes and supplies for her children, Starks then decided to do the same using her hair braiding skills.

The mother from Antioch, Tennessee, who currently works three jobs and knows the cost of braiding a child’s hair could cost in excess of hundreds of dollars, usually between $100 to even $400, and several hours in a salon chair. Therefore, she wanted “what will I do with the children’s hair” to be one less thing for parent to worry about.

In August, Starks offered her services on the “Hip Antioch” community Facebook page, writing, “Anyone know single parents who can’t afford to get their child’s hair done for school? I will braid it for free!” She encouraged those interested to “DM me.” “Update: I have over 30 kids I need help braiding Does anyone have a space all these braiders can use? Due to the amount of children and braiders there is not enough space,” she added.

The post begin to get traction and she needed more hands to help. “I thought it was going to be five to seven kids, but it ended up being 35 kids,” she said about the initial reaction in a statement according to NPR. Since then she has lost count of how many kids have gotten their hair braided.

Starks’ enlisted the help of other stylists to assist. Together, they were able to save parents thousands of dollars. “It’s been very hard. I haven’t gotten any sleep. I’ve been extremely tired, but it’s very worth it,” Starks said. “I feel like I’m doing it for a good cause.”

Even with having to work around her other responsibilities and  on the weekends, Starks says she decided to help, because its not only helping parents but “boosts confidence” for students. She also said, “Some kids, they came in, they weren’t smiling, they weren’t talking, and then, you know, as they get their hair braided, they start opening up a little more and then when they’re done, they’re just smiling and so happy..”

She added, “When your hair is cute, I just feel like you feel so much better about everything [If] your hair is done, you feel confident, you go into school with a fresh start — even though COVID-19’s bringing everybody down.”

Starks has since asked the public with help with supplies on Aug. 17, she created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000.

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