SARASOTA, FL - Local business owner Danny Campos-Lopez has found a special way to give back to deserving area veterans. Campos-Lopez, owner of Sharp Cuts Barbershop in downtown Sarasota, reached out to Goodwill Manasota's Veteran Services Program team in early December, offering to provide free haircuts to veterans in need. Eric Davis, who served for 10 years in the Coast Guard, is the first veteran to benefit - he was given a fresh new look for the holidays and new year and additional veterans will enjoy the same in the coming year.
Launched in 2013, Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services Program was created to help eliminate barriers to employment, provide opportunities for higher-paying positions for veterans and their families, and connect veterans with needed social services. The program helps veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs.
One program offered to deserving veterans is GRACE (Goodwill Returning Ambitious, Confident people to Employment). First created in 2015 in partnership with 92.1 CTQ radio personality and Goodwill Ambassador Maverick Johnson, community members who are already receiving career counseling from Goodwill's Job Connection offices or Veterans Services Program get clothing from Goodwill, on-air support from Maverick, and makeover services to help them feel more confident during the interview and employment process.
Goodwill Manasota's Director of Veteran Services, C.J. Bannister, was happy to take Campos-Lopez up on his offer.
"As soon as Danny reached out, I knew this would be a perfect fit for the GRACE program," said Bannister. "Something as simple as a haircut can make a huge difference in someone's confidence. We are grateful to Sharp Cuts Barbershop for providing that service to a most deserving veteran during the recent holiday season and look forward to referring more veterans throughout 2018."
"Over the course of my career as a barber, I have seen the impact a great haircut can have. It helps people feel good about themselves and it's a great way to enjoy a fresh start," said Campos-Lopez. "I wanted to give back this holiday season and was pleased to thank Eric for his service by giving him a stylish new look. Thank you to Goodwill for this opportunity to give back and for all you do for veterans in our community."
Campos-Lopez, who has been a professional barber since 2015, opened Sharp Cuts Barbershop earlier this year. More information about Sharp Cuts, including the hours and location, can be found on its Facebook page.
For more about Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services Program, call (941) 355-2721, ext. 451 or go to experiencegoodwill.org/veterans.
PHOTO ID: Veteran Eric Davis (seated) and Sharp Cuts Barbershop owner Danny Campos-Lopez
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota's economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.