Vanessa Howard knows what it’s like to have nothing – and that’s why she is giving back to girls and women who are facing the same struggles she did.
When Howard was just a teen, she was the victim of domestic abuse, had three children of her own, and just $1.75 to her name, according to CBS News. The youth eventually got the courage to leave her “drug-infested” household in Tampa Florida, to see if she could make it on her own.
Decades later, Howard was finally able to open her own business, and aptly named it the Giving Hands Hair Salon.
As a means of uplifting other girls living in poverty around Tampa, the 62-year-old provides free services one day a month. Almost 300 women and girls from transitional housing and homeless shelters have benefited from Howard’s free styling.
“I believe everything we go through we go through for purpose. I truly believe that nothing happens by coincidence,” Howard told CBS News. “I would encourage other broken women, business owners — all of us have a story and I believe that we should use what we’ve been through to help others.”
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Reprint (Photo by Giving Hands Hair Salon)