Art With A HeART exceeds its target of 100 haircuts for needy children and lower income families.
Art With A HeART’s latest initiative on Oct. 3 exceeded all expectations in its bid to provide free haircuts for children and families from low income households in Singapore. Held at Anthony Hair Boutique at The Central, the event entitled “New Look with A HeART” drew 150 guests, of which 102 kids were from KK Hospital, Singapore Children’s Society and Little Arts Academy, among others. 37 adults also benefitted from the community project.
The event saw Mrs. Singapore 2010 winner Kenny Santika Lau there to lend her support.
Founder of HeART, 15-year-old Elijah Ted Ng, came up with the idea for a charity haircut when he was thinking of a way to help underprivileged kids in light of the Children’s Day weekend. With the help of his hairstylist, Edison Foong, Ng secured the support of Anthony Hair Boutique who agreed to loan the premises for the cause.
Ben Liao, 30, administrative services manager for AHB said, “We found this to be a good opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. What’s more, our hairstylists are usually off on Sunday and our shop was available, hence the timing and details all fit together.”
Although HeART will only be celebrating its first anniversary this November, the event is listed as the third community project under its belt. More amazing is the fact that Ng handles all of the operations by himself, with no regular volunteer or staff save for the moral support of his parents. The community-minded youngster started out with a dream to help others through art.
Said Ng, “I was first given a platform to use my art to help the community through being a PaTH talent one year ago, where my art pieces are sold during the PaTH market sales. I believe in helping others, especially children, as they are the younger generation who will go on to help the generations after.”
Much thought was put into every detail of the event, including a buffet catering for guests and visitors. There were unique guest books in the form of paint easels where everyone was encouraged to leave their “lasting impressions” with a drawing or painted message. Alongside the walls of the shop was an “art gallery” displaying paintings done by Ng and angel sculptures, all for sale, with the proceeds going toward HeART’s future community efforts.
A good one-and-a-half hours before the event was officially due to start, queues had already formed outside the salon, prompting the team of professional hairstylists to begin swinging their scissors into action.
Comprising 10 award-winning individuals from different salons in Singapore, they each proved their years of experience with extreme focus and precision in their work.
Foong, a leading hairstylist at AHB, gathered manpower by roping in his friends and contacts. “I wanted to do what I could for this event as I felt it was for a good cause. It was easy to get the other stylists to help out as they were more than happy to do something for charity even though they needed to sacrifice their off-day,” said the 30-year-old.
Said Liao, “In fact, the hairstylists are more relaxed and cheerful than usual. You can really see the joy and satisfaction on their faces.”
Such was the sentiment for Esther Hong, in her 30s, from The Scene at Wisma Atria. Said Hong, “The moment I knew this was for charity, I was willing to get involved. The sense of fulfillment in cutting hair for these children is so different from a normal business day.”
The appreciation from the beneficiaries was visible from the many happy faces. Thiagarajen, 41, who brought along his four children aged 3 to 11, was very touched by the whole event. “It is a unique event. It is good to see everyone doing something good for the community. To hold such an event, you really need to have heart to organize it,” the technician said.
“I heard about it from my dad who asked me to come,” said animation student Ariel Hor, 20. “He is also getting his haircut.”
Nur Hidayah bte Azman, 16, found out about the initiative through Little Arts Academy where she has been attending for the past year. “This is the nicest haircut I’ve ever had,” she said.
|CN PHOTOS: Daniel Poh|
Center director for Little Arts Academy, Adelina Ong, 31, was full of praises for Ng and the event. “To me, I feel that age is never the matter, but the important point is in doing good. For us, we want to help those who want to do good, that is why we are here to support Art With A HeART for this event.”
The art sale raised a total of S$1,970, all of which will go toward funding HeART’s next project—to provide prescription spectacles for needy children in China, especially those from the poorer and remote areas. Tentatively known as “Project Vision,” Ng is currently working with a regional presence as a co-sponsor and hopes to accomplish this feat in December this year.
Said Ng, “I hope to continue doing good work for the community, especially for lower-income families and children.”