Paying It Forward Lasts Over 24 Hours at Fall River Barber Shop
The days leading up to Thanksgiving tend to encourage people to live with a gracious mind and a kind heart. While the holidays usher in the season of giving, it’s still a rare and beautiful moment to hear about selfless acts. One act of paying it forward at a barbershop in Fall River led to dozens more, lasting more than 24 hours, and leaving the owner stunned and humbled.
Mark Silveira has been a barber for the past 20 years and has owned Flawless Cutz Barber Shop for the past 12 years. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, he had a client come in, and they began chatting about how tough this year has been for so many people. This particular client wanted to do something special, and it had nothing to do with his hair. He decided to pay it forward and pay for the person’s haircut after him.
“That (next) client was stunned and couldn’t believe it,” Silveira said. “He wanted to continue to pay it forward to the next person I was going to cut."
And so, the chain began. One person after another continued to pay for the next person after them, and it didn’t stop on Tuesday.
“My second-to-last appointment…paid for the next three people, so I went into work on Wednesday with clients all set," he said.
He thought it would end there, but a mother of two kept the chain going. When it was all said and done, Mark told me that 38 people had paid $30 to $45 forward. Thirty-eight people is astounding, but it's the last person who paid it forward that really wowed me.
After Mark’s very last appointment on Wednesday, working well into the night, that client paid for the original gentleman’s next appointment, making the giving chain come full circle.
When I asked Mark how it made him feel, he told me, “In my 20 years of being a barber, I have never experienced anything like this. For me, I’ve always valued my clients, some of the greatest friendships have started behind that chair. It was eye-opening to the beauty of people and how amazing these people are, especially now. Something like that can change somebody’s day, and it changed 38 people's day.”
You hear about coffee drive-thrus and take-out lines, but clients at a barbershop paying it forward for more than 24 hours gives me all of the feels.
This was a powerful story for me because it was a beautiful reminder that one act of kindness can be the catalyst for so many others.