StreetSnips began as a way for hairstylists to give back.
A way to show the love of Jesus in a different but wonderful way.
I grew up learning the art of hair styling. My grandmother, dad, and two aunts have all been to hair school. After wrestling with the desire to do something different, I realized that God gives us talents for a reason and decided that I could use them for more than just making money.
After doing hair professionally for a few years, I got involved with a ministry called Freedom Stylists. They are partnered with Rapha House, a ministry in Cambodia that rescues girls from sex trafficking. The Freedom Stylist program pulls at-risk girls off the streets before they are trafficked and gives them a career opportunity so they don’t have to resort to anything else. They pay for their regular education and have a cosmetology program that the girls go through. This gives them a career to help them and their families survive in such a poor area. They do all of this while teaching them the love of Jesus. I have been to Cambodia and wrapped my arms around sweet girls who have been effected by how great God's love is and how beautifully Rapha House is giving it to them. This ministry changed my life and showed me how my talents can be used by God in powerful ways.
When the Food for Friends ministry began in Fairview, I really wanted to be involved. But as a hair dresser, I always work on Saturdays and I knew I would never be able to. As time went by and every month I couldn’t be there, I decided I wanted to help in some way. So I decided since I was using my career to help girls overseas,
I could do the same thing right here in my own town.
It's wonderful to give people food and I know that they need it, but haircuts are for sure something that people in need are not used to getting. And as a hair dresser I know just how much better, how much more motivated and even brave a new haircut can make a person feel. Jesus asks us to love our neighbor as ourselves; this ministry can be powerful by showing the people of Fairview and hopefully other parts of Johnson City that we love them and want them to love themselves. Loving yourself can make you confident enough to get a job, make relationships and even love Jesus more. Confidence can go a long way and we want to encourage that. God sees us as beautiful! We want to show that to every person we meet.
The plan for StreetSnips is to be available to as many less-fortunate areas as we can in Johnson City. We hope to partner with West Main and expand to other ministries in the near future. We want to bring alongside as many hair dressers as we can and for us to be used to bring God’s love and beauty to whoever needs it. StreetSnips isn't just for women and children, we are excited to do men's haircuts too! A fresh haircut can be just the confidence boost a man needs to land a new job. We even have men hair dressers who are interested in helping out and we can't wait to utilize them. We hope this ministry will give us an avenue to be more involved in the community, building relationships that show God’s love wherever He leads us.
I realized after our first event that sometimes people who are in need are scared to let people help them, and that's okay. Street Snips is going to take more than just showing up on our scheduled times to cut hair. It's going to take prayer and it's going to take real relationships, which has been the plan all along. I'm sure many people in the community have been taken advantage of in the past. We hope to build strong relationships with them so they know who we are, why we're there, and that we truly do love them.
I am so excited for what God is going to do with this ministry and how he is going to use our talents to reach out to the lost and broken of this area. If you would like to get involved with StreetSnips, contact me at Alisarachell@gmail.com.
Alisa R. McNerney