With hair salons and barbershops shuttered in British Columbia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Okanagan College Foundation is turning the new reality of at-home haircuts into an unusual fundraiser.
During the Haircuts for Health Care fundraiser, volunteers willing to allow family members to cut their hair are collecting pledges in support of Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre.
The facility, which will be used to train health-care students, is currently under construction at the school’s Kelowna campus.
“It is going to be an amazing facility with lots of not-previously available spaces,” Helen Jackman, the executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation, said.
“One of the important things about the new centre is that it is going to attract a whole range of new talent and those people are going to work in our hospitals and care facilities right across the Okanagan.”
More than 90 donors have raised about $3,500 since the campaign was launched less than two weeks ago.
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“It’s just a fun way for people to give back at the moment,” Jackman said.
Okanagan College employee Frithjof Petscheleit raised $140 through his home haircut.
Petscheleit said since he was overdue for a visit to the salon, his “hair was all standing up like crazy” before his wife gave him an at-home cut.
They live-streamed the home haircut and Petscheleit said he was happy with the results of his buzz-cut.
“It worked out really well,” he said. “It felt lighter right away.”
Petscheleit’s normal stylist was even among those who donated.
“I was blown away. That’s a really great thing to do especially during a time when he doesn’t have any income,” Petscheleit said.
While not everyone gave their at-home haircuts a positive review, the foundation is hoping the unorthodox fundraiser will give the college’s health-care students a boost and help open the new Health Sciences Centre later this year.
The foundation said if they raise $10,000 with the fundraiser, college president Jim Hamilton has pledged to make a $5,000 personal donation as well.
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