"This has allowed me to love to my fullest capacity and to see what happens when I do."
A barber shop in Cincinnati gives disabled kids an experience they will forever cherish. Vernon Jackson founded Noble Barber and Beauty, a barbershop that caters to VIP customers: disabled kids. He is currently changing lives in the region, one haircut at a time. Starting in 2021, Jackson said, he goes to work on his day offs and gives haircuts to those he calls “the gifted.”
"I was hearing so many horror stories that parents were going through with other barber shops and just the barbers or stylists having no patience with their child," Jackson told CBS News. "So I figured I would compromise by coming in on my day off so there would be no other barbers or stylists in the shop, and I could give them the full attention they need."
Jackson said that having an empty shop helps children to adapt to the barber shop, so they can feel comfortable coming in when other employees and clients are there. Moreover, snazzy fun haircuts are given free of charge. "When I first started promoting that I was going to come in on my off day to do haircuts for children with different needs, a friend of mine just randomly inboxed me and said, 'Hey Vern, can I sponsor a haircut?'" he said. Because of the sponsors and donations, Jackson started a GoFundMe called the "Gifted Program," where you too can sponsor a haircut.
Jackson explained that parents would pay any amount of money just for their child to be able to have an experience like any other person. "And at the end of it, I can tell them 'It's covered,'" he added. "They say, 'I got to give you a tip.' I say, "No, trust me, this is part of the Gifted Program, and this is a gift from the community, myself — please receive it."
It can safely be said that Jackson is now the most adored barber in the community. He has customers that come to him from other cities in Ohio, and Jackson shared that the money he raises will go towards travel so that he can provide free haircuts to disabled children across the country.
"I've been getting inboxed from people from Denmark, Australia, London, Uganda, of course, all across the country. It's been a beautiful experience," he said. "This has allowed me to love to my fullest capacity and to see what happens when I do."
When a video of him giving a haircut to 7-year-old Ellison Eubank, who has Down syndrome and a congenital heart ailment, went viral on TikTok, it catapulted Jackson to fame. The minute-long video shows Jackson, who was featured on "Good Morning America" in February, playing a "stop and go" game with Eubank while giving him a haircut. "It's been pretty cool to meet so many people from around the world who this video impacted," Jackson told The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Jackson always had a passion for working with children and he wanted to help families in need, which led to using his abilities to make kids with intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities look and feel good. "It's cool to see that me living from a place of love and doing everything I've done from a place of love for my city has resulted in what it has," Jackson said. "I wanna make sure that I can continue to show kids in the city and adults in the city and in between that it's OK to do nice things. It's OK to be happy. It's OK to be good."