There is nothing quite like the joyful gleam in a child’s eye when he receives a gift at Christmastime. But what about those who live in foster care or low-income families? What will Christmas be like for them?
That question inspired Doreen Browne, owner of Oasis Hair Salon in Victorville, California, to take action. She came up with a plan to collect toys for children.
Seven years ago, her salon gave a free haircut to anyone who brought in a new toy for a child. They collected 20 toys during the first year.
“Now, what do we do with these toys?” Browne said. “I didn’t have a plan for that, so I called my friend Lisa Ladao a teacher from Liberty Elementary and asked if she knew any children who would benefit.”
Lisa was thrilled to deliver the gifts to some foster children that attended Liberty.
The following Christmas season, the salon held the same event and more than doubled the number of toys collected. Once again, they gave them to Lisa Ladao at Liberty Elementary.
Browne’s simple plan to collect toys for needy children in the community began to grow. The salon raised $2,165.00 that year. The following year they raised $5,561.00 and added another school.
“It warmed my heart so much that we were making a difference,” Browne said. “We decided to make it an evening event and sold raffle tickets to our clients, telling them it was to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for needy children in the community.”
The 2018 Client Charity Christmas Event will be extra sweet. Oasis Hair Salon will also be celebrating a special milestone: 25 years of business. To kick off the event, Y102-KZXY Radio will be on sight with host Coleen “The Mighty Quinn” with her infamous “prize wheel.”
The event has steadily continued to grow in size and popularity with the clients and in the community, prompting other local businesses to jump on board. Stine Chiropractic, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Starbucks, Fight For It Crossfit, Ever Young Skin Care will donate to the charity event.
The salon currently donates gifts to the following local elementary schools: Liberty, Village, The Academy, Morgan Kincaid Preparatory, Helendale, and Melva Davis Academy of Excellence.
Doreen and her daughter, Katey-Bug Smith who also works at Oasis and helps with the event, meet with teachers from the schools to shop for the needy children after the event. They also buy beanies and gloves to attach to the gifts. From there, the teachers take the gifts home for wrapping then hand them out to the students.
“Toy shopping with the teachers is the best part,” said Katey-Bug Smith. “The teachers all carry a list of student’s names. I love to see them cross off the names.”
This year’s Client Charity Christmas Event will be held at Oasis Hair Salon at 13622 Bear Valley Rd. #8 in Victorville Tuesday, December 4, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
When guests arrive, raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Once inside, they can shop from the many local vendor booths while snacking on delicious homemade appetizers and cocktails made by Doreen Browne and Katie-Bug Smith.
“Mom and I have a fun making everything for the event the day before,” said Smith.
The vendors in participation for the event are Damsel in Defense