Manolo Padron has been the modern men's hair guru of Northern New Jersey for over 15 years. "Manny" is a Master Barber, Men's Stylist and hair aficionado who has studied under the industry's top stylists.

Looking at HuManity

Looking at HuManity

Sharp Look at HuManity

This week I was blessed to donate my time to help the homeless community look and feel better once again at the Hoboken ShelterI felt great being able to help people look and feel better all by using my own two hands. I was able to change lives for the better. The place was busy and there were a lot of people.

In my everyday work life, I am constantly busy. I have a hair salon that I run where clients are booked for months in advance. I realized these people I was caring for at the shelter wouldn't have the opportunity to sit in my chair at work. I have learned something valuable, on a deeper level, about humanity. I have an appreciation for what I’ve learned, knowing what is important and what’s not important in my life. I got to examine myself and discover what things in life are inconsequential and most important.

I found myself feeling bad about people that don’t have as much as I am fortunate to have. There are people out there that have much less than I do, and in my everyday life, I think about wanting and buying more stuff. I understand now that it’s ultimately selfish to feel bad. I channeled a different emotion from that moment on and used it to encourage them and make them feel better about themselves.

I got to cut hair and have conversations with these people, and everyone has a different story. I’ve been told that how I alter their look makes them feel amazing. I also did this event with my talented friends, Ona Diaz-Santin and Pedro Rosario as well.

When you pass a homeless person in the street, they become invisible, especially because we tend to turn our eye or turn our face away from them. To me, homeless people are the constant reminder of humanity in its most primitive form, whether or not one is able to eat, have good health, and get shelter. These are the main things that we take for granted.

There is so much help needed in the homeless community. I wish I had more time, help, effort, money, and ability to be able to do this regularly. For my non-profit idea, once we get people to realize how we can affect the homeless community, we can have help in bringing my ideas to life. To make a long story short, it would be my dream to be able to pick a homeless person up, dust them off, and send them on their way.

My charity is Love Thy Neighbor. Donations of resources and funds would be greatly appreciated in helping the homeless community.