ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brian Carren and Teresa Livingston stood side by side in the lobby of International Hair Design with eager smiles on their faces. The salon’s eighth Pink-A-Thon is set to begin Oct. 1.
“Just being able to reach out to someone and be able to help them pay a bill or have a fun date with their child, anything that would make their unpleasant situation really just a better day,” said Livingston. “It really hits my heart.”
Pink-A-Thon began eight years ago with the hope of helping local families facing cancer. All month each October, Livingston asks for donations and runs a raffle. Money raised goes to a person selected by Livingston. In all, $3,700 has been raised, including $900 for a child last year.
This year, the support will go to a military mother of four.
“My family has no history of breast cancer. I’m the first one,” said Neide Barros. When asked if it hit her hard, she paused before mumbling, “It did.”
Barros was diagnosed with two forms of cancer. She’s already had a double mastectomy and will have reconstructive surgery in November. It’s been a trying time for her.
“One thing that’s helping me through this is my faith in God,” said Barros. “I feel like it brought me a lot closer to the Lord.”
Livingston is helping, too. She’s hoping for the highest showing of support for a Pink-A-Thon to date. Barros has three kids at home, ranging in age from 11 to 14. She says they are handling it well. Barros also has a 34-year-old serving in the Army at Fort Bragg.
“It feels wonderful. I feel loved,” she said. “People look up to you and that God is also with you.”
Carros does massage therapy at International Hair Design. His services are part of a raffle for customers along with over $300 in prizes. The salon has added a donation tab to its website this year as well.
“The littlest things can really mean a lot,” he said. “So, that’s the whole thing is trying to raise awareness and letting other people know that there are people in our community in need.”
It all means a lot for Barros.
“Great. Blessed by the Lord,” she said. “I don’t have family here but I have friends from the church and they’ve been wonderful and to have Teresa doing that is wonderful, too, because to know that there’s people out there who care for you, too.”
Pink-A-Thon begins Oct. 1 at International Hair Design. If you’d like to visit International Hair Design and take part in the Pink-A-Thon raffle, you can visit at 6175 54th Ave N., Kenneth City, Florida 33709.
“Everyone is going through the ‘COVID blues,'” said Livingston. “It’s nice to get out and do something for someone else.”
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