The act of giving back is the most admirable gift anyone could ever give. What a blessing it is to a person on the receiving end to relic in the goodness of the hearts of others. Especially in the day and age where kindness is far and few in between, and mostly forgotten. For others to correlate in the selflessness of giving money, goods, services, and time is truly appreciated.
I came across a young man named Javarious “James” Wilson out of Daytona, and Gainesville, FL who approached me through one of my Zodiak Girlz members, Angelica Williams, that was planning an epic give-back event that I could not wait for On The Rise Magazine to be a part of!
While most people were out Trick ‘Or Treating on Halloween 2K15, I was out at the Deno’s Cuts Of Atlanta: First Annual “Love Thy Neighbor” Event. The “Love Thy Neighbor” Event was the vision of DCOA’s Owner, Deno Thompson and elusively brought to life with the event planning of James Wilson.
“Love Thy Neighbor” is the Charity event that serviced Veterans, Breast Cancer Survivors, Homeless Women, and Homeless Children. It was held at Deno’s Cuts Of Atlanta inside of Salon Ramsey at 2175 Cheshire Bridge Rd.
James reached out to all of his connections, make up, hair, you name it… anyone he was involved with in Atlanta. Their main focus was to help the youth because they need direction. James reached out to his entire network, he wrote letters, approached new relationships for partnerships, and definitely secured groundbreaking contacts to participate in his event.
James told me about how much this event meant to him, and even I got teary eyed: “One girl, I was shampooing her hair, [said], ‘Thank you I haven’t had my hair washed in like 10 months.’ She didn’t know I started crying. I pulled it together really quickly. They were thanking us, but I started thanking them because they have a lot of goals and I just encouraged them and we all empowered them and gave them a lot of good advice.” James came from a genuine place with the dynamics of who this event helped.
Some of the partnerships created included: A Taste 2 Perfection, owner Shannon, Lauren Rochelle, Princess Nails, Salon Ramsey, S.A.L.T. Empire, Stephen Berry, Twisted Fads, James’ own boutique, DENO’s Cuts of Atlanta, Princess Nails, and so many more.
To James, this event meant “touching the hearts of different people and listening to their stories. Having clothes, someone to listen to them and make them feel special. The fact that they do not have people to look out for them. These people, their situations are real… you never know, the fact that the shoes could be reversed and it could be you.”
The “Love Thy Neighbor” event blessed several different organizations, they included: The Covenant House of GA, Love Beyond Walls, The Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and The Salvation Army.
They gave out haircuts, makeovers, manicures, clothes, shoes, hygiene kits, blankets, food, coats, cell phones, and love at this event. It’s something I look forward to yearly. I even suggested that they continue this sort of event.
This event had been in the works for 2 months. “It normally takes longer, but I definitely did not want to miss October,” says James, “because It’s about to get cold here in Atlanta.”
Well done! From James himself; “Shout outs go to my mother Deborah Wilson who drove up from Gainesville, F.L. with money and a car full of clothes. She washed all of the clothes that were donated as well as ironed and steamed all the clothes. I’d like to thank Madison Molly for all of the clothes; they’re located in Little 5 Points, and the owner, Jasmine donated a box full of clothing and shoes, brand new with clothes still on them! Katura Watson helped with resumes, Vintage Hazel for donating clothes. A Taste 2 Perfection Catering Company Owner, Shannon, donated over 400 meals, Deno himself donated over 300 hygiene kits, a good friend Sharette from FL, now a student at Kennesaw State, donated money. Blink ATL for doing the lashes, Kemani from Fresherey… doing haircuts for the little children. Cali, Felicia White, and Stephen Berry for doing make up, so many people. Ben and Chase donating so many clothes out from his company. You to you too Angel, just for coming out. You were such a blessing.”
Wow, I can say that my favorite thing about this industry is the art of giving back. I love to volunteer and can’t wait to let you all know about the next events to come from James and others who look forward to helping others!
The foundation for Deno’s Cuts Of Atlanta (DCOA) was born out of Detroit, M.I. on 8 Mile Rd. Deno has worked alongside some the greatest stylist in his early years of becoming a stylist. At the age of 25, he told himself he did not want to work for anyone anymore. Ever since then, he has had the vision to work for himself and to help other in the process.
As if the age of 25 was not monumental enough, he also lost his mother. Obviously, during that time everything that didn’t matter, started to matter. He soon learned he was the light to carry out his mother’s vision and help others in need. Deno’s main goal is to make his mother proud of the vision they both spread that he still continues today.
DCOA finally hit the Atlanta playing field in 2006, but as we all know, times are not always easy. There were ups and downs, at times he did know how close he was to being on the street himself. Atlanta humbled his spirit to say the least, and soon became his second home away from home. Deno uses his gift as a platform to help, console, advise, and bring about a better sense of being to those who feel less than they should and may not be in touch with the brighter parts of themselves. Deno loves to do hair and gets a great joy out of making people smile, laugh, and feel good about themselves. Deno gives a very good down home, welcoming with open arms service of love, and confidential concern. We all need to do our part in the community, to build one another up! The “Love Thy Neighbor” Event started as a vision that was so bright and was brought to life by Deno’s dear friend James who listened to his vision, hopes, and aspirations. We look forward to hosting more events like this one to help others.
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