My name is Misty Wind Shingoose and I am the founder of Care Cuts outreach organization and I believe that no matter your past, your present, your situation or your circumstances that every human being is valuable and has the right to feel so.
With Care Cuts, we provide free haircuts, food, clothing and toiletries to those who might not be able to afford them for themselves.
The basis of our work is that a haircut can change ones outlook on themselves when they look into a mirror. It could be the difference between that someone being able to make it to that job interview or not, or walk up to the detox centre and ask for help to get clean, or to just feel that they are being cared for by someone and possibly not overlooked by society as a whole.
At first glance, someone might see that the work that we do is purely to help those who cannot help themselves….but underneath it all it is also work done to form a community of people who may be able to help themselves as well as others, but who still are in need of a purpose and a passion and a place to fit in to feel that they are making a difference in the world around them. To give them a reason to keep on keeping on!
That’s truly where Care Cuts comes in.
Our volunteers span far and wide and have a multitude of different backgrounds and pasts. With the tough economy of Calgary in the past three years that we have been operating we have had volunteers on EI who are bored of being off of work and just want to do something positive and fill up their extra time. We have had volunteers on AISH who cannot work due to medical reasons who find a purpose to waking up each morning in the service of others they are able to partake in with Care Cuts. We’ve even had ex-homeless that we have served come back to then serve others! To see the work that we do come full circle like that is truly the community feel and purpose that we are hoping to build in this city!!
You see, we aren’t just a group of well-rounded individuals with a purpose to help others….as it says on our website, we are real, flawed, imperfect people wanting to help real, flawed, imperfect people. And that, couldn’t be a more beautiful and perfectly imperfect thing to me personally.
A small background on myself and why I started Care Cuts to begin with was because I had just finished nearly a decade of a life lived in prison, on parole and on 24 house arrest for trafficking narcotics. I found myself broken and without purpose when I was looking at another 7-12 years. That night before court I gave my life fully and honestly to God and I bartered with him my broken soul and entire existence for my freedom. The next morning I was sentenced to a miraculous 6 months. You can call it a good lawyer or a kind crown prosecutor or just the right judge, but to me, that day was the day that God saved my life on a jail cell floor. And so I repay Him now in my freedom by doing His work with my hands, free time, income and heart.
You see, some organizations already established have full funding and are even able to pay workers to help those in need under their name. Care Cuts is literally manned by people who solely want to help other people and have no gain to be made at all. Much like BeTheChangeYYC as well!
This is why we are huge supporters and absolutely love the work that is done by Chaz and his team, because you can clearly see that what they do is purely a labour of love and to help those who may be in need of it and for no profit of their own.
In the future I would love to see more and move Calgarians support smaller, grass roots initiatives like BeTheChangeYYC and Care Cuts as they are the organizations that take 100% of what is given to them and turn around and help others directly with it.
After three years and 4 months of operations, Care Cuts is here to stay and will only get bigger and better with the help of the community around it. Surely to see lives change over the years for the better right before our eyes is a social impact worth standing behind!!