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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Madison County non-profit serving foster children and families is working to get students ready for the upcoming school year.

Legacy Health Connections started providing free hair care this week as part of their “Stylin’ for Success: Back to School Program.” The program will run through August.

So far, World Class Barbers, Royal Cutz Barbershop, Fade Factory 256 Barbershop, and Loud House Barbershop have volunteered their services. The non-profit says they need more licensed barbers, cosmetologists, and students in these programs to volunteer and help.

The organization has also partnered with The Neighborhood Thrift Store to provide clothes and shoes to students. Additionally, the organization is seeking donations and sponsorships to help provide more personal new items, including underwear and hygiene products.

Legacy Health Connections CEO/Founder, Debra Smith, says “When the youth look good, they feel good about themselves and are more likely to do better in school – academically and socially.”

Smith says to her knowledge, the organization’s hair salon – “Crown of Joy” – is the first hair salon in Alabama, and perhaps the country, established with the primary intent to provide free hair care to vulnerable youth.

The nonprofit was established in August 2018 in Huntsville, AL to serve foster children and families, which includes kinship and families with children adopted from foster care. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith says she recognized some unmet needs among under-resourced children and families and added them to their target populations. 

She also says there’s a large population of homeless school-aged youth in Madison County and the organization is assisting the Special Populations Liaison for the Huntsville City Schools- Federal Programs in serving these youth.

“There are many, really good organizations already out there serving foster families/under-resourced children and families. We don’t want to duplicate services or resources. We want to work collaboratively with as many people/organizations/entities in the community as we can,” added Smith. 

If you’d like to get involved with this effort, contact Debra Smith