Brown, blonde, black and red locks of hair were falling fast and furious to the floor at the , located in the far southeast corner of the Mokena store, where half-dozen stylists were busy clipping, cutting and shaving children's hair as part of a free back-to-school haircut project for kids during the month of August.
In the first day of the project, the Mokena store was at the ready for a day dedicated to kid cuts. The store had 140 booked appointments so far over, and they were expecting more as the word spread. But that doesn't mean that they won't take walk-ins, said Kim Gignac, JCP salon leader.
In consideration of budget-conscious families especially at the start of the school year, Gignac said, the store is participating in a nationwide program for youngsters in kindergarten-6th grad.
"We've done 4-year-olds and seventh-graders too, if they happened to be with their mothers while their brothers and sisters were getting their hair cut. We're not policing it," Gignac said.
The whole idea is to invite people into the story and let them know that the salon exists. It's a volunteer activity that people appreciate at this time of year when money seems to be flying out the window. "We're doing this for the love of humanity. We just want to give back," explained Gignac.
She is expecting to process 800-plus youngsters throughout the month. That's a significant contribution to the community, considering each child's haircut is valued at $14, she added.
The kick-off day, Aug. 1, was set aside for kid cuts only. Customers can stop by the JCP Mokena salon or call 815-277-4062 to book an appointment while they last. They can also call 855-JCP-KIDS to find a store closest to them and to book an appointment.
Maria Kirchner, of New Lenox, was right on top of the offer. She brought in 6-year-old daughter, Brianna, an incoming first-grader at . Brianna smiled in the chair as hairstylist Stephanie Scott, washed her hair and carefully trimmed the edges of her soft brown hair.
Speaking of the opportunity for a free haircut, Kircher said, "I think it's great. I'm going to pick up some socks, shoes and underwear while I'm here."
For Davina Sanchez, of Park Forest, free back-to-school haircuts are a real money saver. "I have four children. I brought them all in."
What do you think about this free haircut offer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.