Haircuts to fundraise for homeless shelter


Jessica Kalahar/Iowa State Daily

Christopher Hoffmann, Eric Anderson and Chris Grow all have been growing their hair out for the “Like a Fool Fundraiser for ERP.” The money that is raised will go to the Emergency Residence Project in Ames and the highest contributors will get to choose how the three students will have to cut their hair.

Claire Norton

Many would not consider another’s outrageous styling suggestions when it comes to getting a haircut, but for three ISU students, there will be no shame when it comes to styling their hair for charity.

Chris Grow, Eric Anderson and Christopher Hoffman are currently sporting full beards and luscious locks, only to be trimmed and clipped into ridiculous hairstyles on April 15.

The three are raising money and promoting awareness for the Ames Emergency Residence Project, a homeless shelter on Kellogg Avenue.

This shelter also provides services for those who are homeless, facing eviction or experiencing utility loss.

The students are all members of St. Thomas Aquinas church as well as the Knights of Columbus national Catholic fraternity. They chose to raise money for a local cause to support a charitable cause St. Thomas is highly involved with.

Grow, senior in construction engineering, said this was a last-minute fundraising event and hopes to help out as much as possible.

“We want to at least make some sort of an impact,” Grow said. “I have no idea what to expect, this being the first year, but hopefully it’s enough to make a significant contribution.”

To raise money for the Emergency Residence Project, the incentive and reward for the donors is a contest they created that involves various styles of haircuts. 

The hairstyle that wins will be the one who receives the highest donation. It will then be applied to the hair of the individual who had raised the money for that style.

Grow said the method for requesting donations has been mostly by talking to family and friends, as well as inviting others to their “Like a Fool Fundraiser for ERP” on Facebook.

On the event’s page, the supporters can view which hairstyles he/she would like to vote for and contact the members to donate.

“We haven’t been able to set up an online donation, so [those willing to donate] would have to contact one of us three,” Grow said.

When the deadline of April 15 arrives, each participant’s winning hairstyle will be put into effect.

Troy Jansen, a representative from the Emergency Residence Project, said he has been familiar with ISU students as well as members of the St. Thomas church volunteering at the Emergency Residence Project for many years.

Jansen said he was grateful for the fundraiser for the Emergency Residence Project in Ames and feels not everyone is mindful of the homeless situation in the local area.

“Awareness still needs to be raised that there is a homeless shelter in Ames,”  Jansen said.

Jansen also said any donation can be used in a number of ways and any amount donated is greatly impactful for the shelter.

“The funds that are raised, they help prevent someone from being homeless because we can pay somebody from Story County to pay their rent,” Jansen said. “It’s a few less groceries that we have to buy. Then again, that’s to save money so that we can help prevent homelessness.”

While the three participants’ hair is growing and voting continues, Grow and his two fundraising partners continue to request donations to help this deserving cause.

Grow said he is urging those willing to contribute to contact him directly at (316)295-0249 or [email protected] or check out their Facebook page