Nanaimo barbers, librarians team to help less fortunate kids get back-to-school – Ladysmith Chronicle – Ladysmith Chronicle

James Tyler, of Heavy D’s Barbershop, gives a child a fresh haircut at the Fresh Start back-to-school event at Harbourfront library branch Aug. 28. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Fresh Start event takes place at downtown Nanaimo branch, benefiting Nanaimo-Ladysmith students
Barbers, librarians and volunteers in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith area teamed to help children get a fresh start to their school year at Harbourfront library today, Aug. 28.
The brainchild of That 50’s Barber Shop owner Dave Lawrence, Fresh Start back-to-school fundraiser offered backpacks, school supplies, library cards, clothing and haircuts to less fortunate students in Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district. Lawrence was assisted by fellow barbers from Heavy D’s Barbershop and a host of volunteers.
The idea to hold it at the library was conceived in 2019, said Lee Losell, a Harbourfront branch children and youth services librarian.
“I was getting a haircut at That 50’s Barber Shop and Dave and I started talking … and I thought, it’s just a natural fit for us to try and do something together,” said Losell. “Then of course, the global viral pandemic kind of got in the way, but really happy to be able to get together with Dave on this event and get more library cards in the hands of more kids.”
Dan Awalt, of Heavy D’s, said he and his co-workers were glad to lend a hand.
“Dave gave us a shout and asked us to come down and help out,” said Awalt. “We had lots of support in the community. We’re down at Departure Bay, so we had lots of neighbours come down and drop off bags, we had over 50 bags and all kinds of donations dropped off.”

Scenes from @thatbarberdave's Fresh Start #BacktoSchool2021 fundraiser at @VI_Library #Harbourfront branch in #Nanaimo.
— Karl Yu (@KarlYuBulletin) August 28, 2021

Lawrence said he was pleased with the support, teaming up with Heavy D’s, the library and others.
“It’s been such an awesome thing,” said Lawrence. “The community has come together in a crazy way. We have so many backpacks, so many school supplies, so many donations by people, so we’re set to help a lot of kids this year, which is just awesome and we’re only going to keep going more and more with this.”
RELATED: Fundraiser to give Nanaimo students a Fresh Start
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