When Kim Fife, owner of Eden Salon, heard her pastor say that everyone has a ministry inside them and it’s usually where their talents lie, she thought to herself sarcastically, “Great, I do hair.”
But after going on a mission trip to Panama where she cut hair all day from morning to night she said, “Why can’t I do that here?”
So Fife put together a proposal for Cutting Edge Ministry and presented it to Restoration International Outreach Church where she is a member.
“They loved the idea,” Fife said. “It’s cutting hair for people who can’t afford it, not just the poorest of the poor, but people with say, four or five kids. To load them up and take them to the salon, that’s a lot of money that could go to shoes or clothes. I know that would be hard on a family.”
The Cutting Edge Ministry provides free hair cuts on the third Saturday of every month at 370 South Longhollow Road in Maryville. They begin at 9 a.m. and the last cut of the day begins no later than 3 p.m. Clients must come with clean, shampooed hair as they do wet cuts only. They work on a first-come, first-served basis, so no appointments will be taken. All the stylists are Tennessee state licensed cosmetologists.
Currently every stylist at Eden Salon is participating. “We all talked about it before,” Fife said, “and we wanted to do something in the community, but nothing really jumped out at us.”
Cutting Edge Ministry, however, fit the bill and everyone was immediately on board. “It all just worked out,” Fife said.
“We’ve only done it two times now, and we’ve not done a lot of advertising yet. It’ll be a word-of-mouth thing. So far we’ve had about forty people,” Fife said. She also said Lighthouse Ministry is an option that’s made available during Cutting Edge if anyone needs help with groceries or electric bills. “It’s an emergency food ministry. They teamed up with us so they are here to answer questions,” she said. Lighthouse Ministries is also an outreach ministry of RIO Church.
“We want to provide a service for the community that’s needed. I don’t think there’s another ministry like this that I’ve heard of. People’s self-esteem is tied to how they look. If it helps someone go get a job, that’s great. It will help people feel better about themselves,” she said. “We want other stylists to come help out, too. As it gets bigger and bigger, we won’t be able to handle it all ourselves.”
Anyone interested in volunteering with the ministry should contact Fife at the number below.
“We think we’ve found our niche. People don’t have to look far for their ministry. Usually you have a talent, and it’s usually what you do for living,” Fife said.
The Cutting Edge Ministry is located at 370 South Longhollow Road in Maryville. For more information, call RIO Church at 865-681-2763.