Texas volunteers offer free haircuts to Native families

Nikki Humbles, a licensed cosmetologist from Brock, Texas, drove four hours on Jan. 27, 2018, to provide free haircuts to Native youth at Clinton Church and Community Center in Clinton, Okla. Humbles became involved with the Clinton ministry after attending a mission trip with Brock United Methodist Church in July 2016. Photo courtesy of Clinton Church and Community Center.
Nikki Humbles, a licensed cosmetologist from Brock, Texas, drove four hours on Jan. 27, 2018, to provide free haircuts to Native youth at Clinton Church and Community Center in Clinton, Okla. Humbles became involved with the Clinton ministry after attending a mission trip with Brock United Methodist Church in July 2016. Photo courtesy of Clinton Church and Community Center.

With a snip and smile, Native children were able to start 2018 with a new look and a lot of confidence thanks to free haircuts offered by volunteers from Brock, Texas. 

On Jan. 27, Nikki Humbles and her mother, Sue Quisenberry, packed up their scissors, hair dryer, capes, combs and brushes to drive more than four hours to provide the service. In one afternoon, they helped 18 customers.

“I wanted to do something that was in my capabilities as a licensed cosmetologist,” said Humbles. She learned about the Clinton ministry when she accompanied her mother on a mission trip with Brock United Methodist Church.

Native American children receive free back-to-school haircuts from Nikki Humbles, a licensed cosmetologist from Brock, Texas, on Jan. 27, 2018, at Clinton Church and Community Center. Humbles says she finds great joy in working with the children and families and hopes to make this an annual event. Photo courtesy of Clinton Church and Community Center.

Native American children receive free back-to-school haircuts from Nikki Humbles, a licensed cosmetologist from Brock, Texas, on Jan. 27, 2018, at Clinton Church and Community Center. Humbles says she finds great joy in working with the children and families and hopes to make this an annual event. Photo courtesy of Clinton Church and Community Center.

“I believe this free haircut service gives the sense that people care,” said the Rev. Donna Pewo, pastor of Clinton Church and Community Center. She said the small service means a lot to the parents as well as the children. “One father told me it was hard to come up with $12-$14 to pay for haircuts for three children.”

The Clinton ministry outreach also focuses on education. Many of the children in the community live with grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives, according to Pewo. Church members offer after-school support, which includes tutoring for students ages 5 to 18. 

“Our hope is to build confidence, teach responsibility and work with children to make sure they know we care about them and their education,” Pewo said.

The partnership between Brock United Methodist Church and the Clinton ministry began in July 2016. Volunteers in Mission from Texas helped to clear a building and clean up the ministry grounds. The mom and daughter team came back to the church in August of last year to offer haircuts to 13 children preparing to go back to school.

They hope to make their visit an annual event. “It was such a privilege and honor to be a part of something so beautiful,” Humbles said.

The Clinton Church and Community Center is part of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference of The United Methodist Church. 

“We are thankful for Nikki who fell in love with the ministry at Clinton and was inspired to use her own gifts as a stylist to share with the beautiful kids at the center,” said the Rev. David Wilson, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference superintendent.

“Nikki is a reminder of how innovative we can be in sharing not just our gifts, but also our love with others.”

Wilson invites United Methodist churches to explore the Clinton ministry and other ministries within the conference for Volunteers in Mission opportunities.

Underwood is a communication consultant with ties to the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. She is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. News media contact: Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tennessee, (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests. 

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