Stacy McCormick has a gem of a story in Ruby.
A hairstylist and faithful member of Calvary Baptist Church, where her father is the pastor, McCormick is the driving force behind Hope and a Haircut. The effort provides free haircuts, a meal and kindly countenances for the church’s low-income neighbors.
“I thought, ‘You know, I can use my gifts and my talents, not just behind the chair for my income, but to benefit the community and to lead others to Jesus,’” McCormick said. “So, I thought, ‘Why not?’”
During each Hope and a Haircut event, a team of volunteers transforms Calvary’s basketball gym into a salon with 20 hair-cutting stations. During a back-to-school event earlier this year, 100 people had signed up for haircuts by the time the doors opened. Within an hour, that number swelled to 200. Some of the hairdressers stayed until 10 at night to accommodate everyone.
“I was never worried if one person would show up,” McCormick said. “I just knew I needed to do it.”
Of all those served, Ruby stands out. She came to a winter event not because she needed a haircut, but because her heater was out … and she was cold … and she thought it might be the only meal she could get that day.
Ruby stayed all six hours in the heated gymnasium. The church found someone to fix her faulty heater and gave her some food to-go.
“I’m gonna cry,” McCormick warned as she told the story … and then she did. “We’re providing haircuts. But we’re doing so much more for these people. That right there is what it’s all about.”
Among the Hope and a Haircut volunteers are residents of the Concho Valley Home for Girls. The girls sweep up hair and fold towels for McCormick, who at other times styles their hair at no charge.
“They’re sweet girls,” she said. “They just need someone to love on them and not judge them. The road they’ve walked has not been easy. For them to be pampered for an hour in the chair, it just helps them out.”
McCormick’s seems to come by her servant’s heart naturally. Her minister father is the “shepherd over his sheep.” Her mother “rolls out the red carpet for you, whoever you are.” She herself is a person fed by her faith.
“I’m just a person doing what I feel called to do,” she said. “I think you must be a servant. Never leave anybody out. Always check on each other.
“And don’t carry a title. If people are doing what you’re doing, you’re probably a leader.”
Kassie Soldano, whose husband is a former 20 Under 40 honoree, called McCormick “a mentor, a leader and a great teacher to others.” McCormick insisted she’s no different than anyone else. That is, anyone – and everyone – can make a difference, she said.
“Don’t be afraid,” she encouraged. “Just get out there and do it. Follow your dreams and live big.”