Glennea DeBose shed tears when she found out about a local day spa for girls sponsoring an event where girls could get their hair braided for free before the start of the upcoming school year.
DeBose made it a priority to bring her daughter, Jordyn McRae, Monday to the King Center in northeast Gainesville for the 2nd Annual Braid Bash sponsored by Trinity's Day Spa.
"I'm so thankful for the braiders who are here to give their talents back to the community, especially during these times of inflation," DeBose said. "Being a single parent, this really helps. Girls can get free manicures, hairstyles and a free meal. I do know people are going to benefit from this. The time to braid hair and the cost of hair is so much. I'm glad someone was nice enough to lend the products to them."
Trinity's Day Spa founder and owner, Edwennia Moore, said her business is all about pampering girls and making them confident through their appearance. She also said she created the event, which served elementary- to high school-aged girls, to help them feel confident for the school year.
"When you look good you perform well in class," Moore said. "I thank God to be able to put this together again. I've been so busy opening up more locations for my business, and I found this worthy to host again to give back to the community."
About 52 girls registered for this year's Braid Bash, which featured nine professional braiders and a professional manicurist who provided free manicures.
The Cereal Rush Bar provided free breakfast for those in attendance.
Free backpacks were be given away by Tahirah Moore, who is the founder of a non-profit organization called Crammed, which strives to give back to the youth and community by strengthening their professional and educational skills, while also providing a safe space to discuss mental health issues.
Seated at the center of the event, manicurist Ta'Niya Walker said she enjoys preparing girls for the school year by providing free manicures to them. Girls had about 10 color selections of nail polish to choose from.
"I think this event is beautiful," Walker said. "This helps them feel so much better about themselves. This is also a great way for them to meet new people."
Takasia McLean, a braider, said it is nice to use what she is passionate about to help others.
"This is my second year and I love doing it," McLean said. "Some parents can't afford it, and this is a perfect time to network."
Another braider, Loni McNish, said she loves helping children and this is a great way to prepare them for the school year.
"I love giving back to the community," McNish said. "Being around people who are in my field is a big plus, and I work at an elementary school so I love children. This is a good atmosphere."
Ke'Asia Fisher had her hair braided by McNish, and said she was thankful for the free braiding, and is looking forward to going back to school.
"I had a nice braider and we had a great conversation," Ke'Asia said. "She was very gentle and relatable."
Shaunte Carter brought her two daughters to the event after she noticed it on Facebook.
"This event is very important, especially as a single mother like myself who has to pay for hairstyles, clothes and shoes for school," Carter said. "They saved me a lot of money."
This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Trinity's Day Spa hosted its 2nd Annual Braiding Bash to help girls get ready for new school year