The Gift of Giving Back to the Homeless: One Haircut at a Time
Michelle Morelli laughs as she admits that she was not a good student in high school.
In 12thgrade when the students were offered the opportunity to start beauty school, Michelle started to ponder the idea that maybe, just maybe, academics were not for her.
As a young girl, vivacious, outgoing Michelle always took the time to pamper herself to look her personal best. It all made sense when she made up her mind to pursue cosmetology and help others to feel better about themselves by looking their best. She lets out a loud laugh as she shares, “It was the only course that I ever got A’s in!”
Graduating from the now defunct Wilford Academy, one of the nation’s oldest and largest trade school franchises in New York, Michelle started to cut hair and waitressed at Pizza Hut to supplement her income while building her business.
“With all of the hard work we did, I felt we were grossly underpaid and underrated at that time.”
Life happened, and ‘personal family issues got in the way’ (as she wipes tears from her eyes, evidence that the pain from that time still lingers).
Moving from New York to Arizona in 2013, Michelle‘s focus has been getting back on her feet after a nastier-than-the usual-divorce.
Working at a nursing home as receptionist/baker/customer service rep/hairdresser, Michelle started her company and brand, ‘Have Scissors Will Travel’; specializing in latest hairstyles and buzz cuts.
She prayed that God would give her a good friend, and He did just that. A couple of years ago, that friend Geri encouraged her to get her Arizona cosmetology license, which she did.
Then Geri went a step further and encouraged Michelle, besides cutting hair for a living, to volunteer her talents to helping cut hair for the homeless.
On Saturday mornings Michelle can be found behind a chair, Icon Shears in hand, and a smile on her face. Waiting to make just one person feel better about themselves. And then another. And another…
Michelle smiles as she thinks about the difference she is making in people’s lives. People who will never be able to repay her.
“One man. I cut his hair and he cried as he talked about wanting a job, a place of his own to call ‘home’. I encouraged him to apply where hiring was being done for his skill set. I told him that if I can do it, anybody can do it. And to let me know what came of his attempts. He came back to thank me. Today he is working fulltime and is off the streets.” She wipes tears from her cheeks. And it all started in a barber chair with a free haircut.
“I think I relate to people because of my life experiences. I know what they are going through. I have been there. I have lost relationships, finances, friends, trust. With God’s help I am bouncing back.”
Life throws curve balls and many times people become the victim.
Michelle Morelli is not one of these. She picks up her scissors, carefully packs them away, and hugs the homeless man who seemed to grow to ten feet tall. Feeling good about his new haircut. And meeting Michelle, his new friend who really cares.
Just a hairdresser? No such thing! Michelle becomes everyone’s new best friend as she picks up her Icon Shears to listen and care about her next client, knowing her gift will help beautify the world. One head of hair at a time.