More than 100 local children will have a fresh start for the first day of school thanks to the 13th annual Fresh Cut Fresh Start (FCFS) event held on Aug. 22., just one day before the start of the school year. 

For the past 13 years, the annual FCFS event has provided more than 1000 free haircuts, backpacks, toiletries and school supplies to Kansas City-area students at the 180V Barber Salon on 18th and Vine Street.

Joey Thomas, founder of FCFS and owner of 180V Barber Salon said this year’s focus was on the three H’s: haircuts, health and hygiene to help students have a fresh and healthy start going into the school year.

This year’s FCFS event looked a little differently than past events. There were not huge crowds along Vine Street with different games and activities as families waited for their haircuts. Because Kansas City’s COVID-19 cases have spiked, the event followed social distancing guidelines and the Kansas City Health Department offered families COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

“This year we had to really pivot and just focus on haircuts, health and hygiene,” Thomas said. His number one priority was safety.

IThe Kansas City Health Department also provided resources for families like information on housing and utility bill assistance and guidance on parenting and health. Local nonprofit Giving Hope and Help provided feminine hygiene packs and the Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City donated more than 500 backpacks.

About 15 local barbers volunteered at the event.

“Together as a community, we’re making things happen,” Thomas said.

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Joey Thomas, founder of Fresh Cut Fresh Start

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