Salon owner pays it forward: Free haircuts, school supplies
Published Monday, August 26, 2013 10:48PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:37AM EDT
A Toronto salon owner has opened her doors to give free haircuts and backpacks full of school supplies to children from the Red Door Family Shelter.
Kozeta Izeti, owner of Kozeta Salon, says that when she came with her family to Canada as refugees from Albania, Red Door Shelter gave them an unconditional welcome and now it's her turn to do the same.
"To see the kids getting their haircuts and their backpacks … it's priceless," Izeti said.
On Monday, 32 kids from the shelter came to Kozeta Salon.
"(It will) hopefully build some confidence in them as they get set for school," Izeti said.
Thirteen years ago, Izeti came to Canada with her husband and one-year-old child. They only had $70 in their pockets.
The family spent three months at the Red Door Shelter.
"I didn't speak English … and the staff was incredibly helping. I couldn't really communicate with anyone because of my language," Izeti said.
Lory Bermeon of Red Door said that for families in the shelter, it’s difficult to find the money to get their kids ready to go back to school.
Bermeon said the event helped give the kids more than just a haircut.
"Self-confidence, excited to go back to school, meeting new friends, showing off their new haircuts -- a lot of things that they are missing. But the vote-of-confidence is the biggest thing," Bermeon said.
Neighbouring businesses supported the event and helped purchase the school supplies.
Along with new immigrants, the Red Door Family Shelter helps abused women and families struggling with poverty.