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Back-to-school fundraiser looks to give Nanaimo students a Fresh Start

That 50’s Barbershop, VIRL Harbourfront Library and other partners asking for donations
The Fresh Start back-to-school drive this month is collecting money, backpacks, supplies and clothing for less fortunate students in Nanaimo. (Stock photo)

A Nanaimo barber is teaming with the local library to help children get back to the books in September with some fresh supplies.

Dave Lawrence, owner of That 50’s Barber Shop, is organizing the Fresh Start back-to-school fundraiser, collecting money, backpacks, supplies and clothing for less fortunate students. Lawrence said COVID-19 affected his efforts for Fresh Start last year, with supplies delivered individually, which was difficult. This year he will team with Harbourfront library branch, where the event will take place on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and it will include free haircuts.

“Kids can read me a story, draw me a picture and then they get a free backpack full of school supplies and clothes, books and all kinds of stuff,” said Lawrence.

Children will also be given library cards, according to Lawrence, and DJ All Good will be present, teaching children the art of being a disc jockey.

Lawrence said a kick-off event will be held Sunday, Aug. 8, at noon at Desire Tattoo Studio, where he will be getting part of the Fresh Start logo tattooed on his leg. Panago pizza will be on hand to donate $1,000 and further donations are encouraged.

Sheila Hammond-Todd, children and youth services librarian, said she is excited the library is partnering on a fundraiser that has been happening in the community for years.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to be involved, being that it’s related to literacy,” said Hammond-Todd.

People can drop off donations at Lawrence’s shop (16A Victoria Cres.), Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Harbourfront branch (90 Commercial St.), Desire Tattoo Studio (200-1925 Bowen Rd.) as well as Heavy D’s Barbershop (4B-1420 Wingrove St.) whose staff will be assisting Lawrence with haircuts at the event.

“It’s not easy for people right now,” said Lawrence. “There’s still a lot of poverty … so it’s really difficult, but we’re aiming to help another 200 kids, so we need a lot of supplies, a lot of money to go buy supplies.”

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Karl Yu

About the Author: Karl Yu

After interning at Vancouver Metro free daily newspaper, I joined Black Press in 2010.
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