Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mr. Eric Peasah Is Coming To NY! Children With Special Needs, A Final Plea About Shopping Locally!

Mr. Eric Peasah of the IOM

I  am very excited right now!  Mr. Eric Peasah will be coming all the way from Ghana to the Bronx to speak about the problems of child trafficking and forced labor of children in Ghana. I am honored that he is coming to see me, as well as coming to see the students of Monroe College who have been so wonderful in fund raising for the organization.

Mr. Peasah works for the I.O.M....International organization for Migration.  A wonderful group that helps people all over the world.  If there is something you can do for these children, and if you are interested in meeting with Mr. Peasah, please get in touch with me.  He will be in NYC in early December, 2009. If you would like to donate, do so here.

Working With Special Needs Children

Those of you who know me, know that there is nothing I think is more important than the feelings of children. That is why I became involved with the IOM, and that is why I do the work I do.  The gratifying work I do with the families of typically developing and special needs children, trying to make those children as comfortable as possible while getting a haircut.

It might seem funny to some that I write about it in such a serious manner, after all, it's only a haircut!  But to some children, it is a major thing.  It is VERY serious!  Some children just hate every second of it.  It might be scary, the feelings might be just a little to intense for them to process.  I get it.  I really do.  The hardest thing for me is not when the child has a hard time, the hardest thing for me is when the parent doesn't get it! When the parent has a hard time! Not if the parent cries too, I understand that, it is hard to see your child so unhappy, but when the parent tries to shame the child into behaving! Your child isn't doing it on purpose!

I do the best I can. There is NOTHING I haven't seen at this point!  If I need to have a tea party first with your child, I will.  If I need to play with trains first or during the haircut with your child, I will.  If I need to stand on my head for your child...well figuratively I will but literally, maybe not!

I have alot of success and many, many kids who have cried before in other shops do not cry here!

Just remember, I do the best I can, which is better than the rest, but I don't guarantee your child won't cry.  That I cannot do. Keep in mind...I've been kicked, punched, spit at, and thrown up on.  I just keep going as fast as I can, IF YOU WANT ME TO, and as carefully as I can without hurting your child.  PLEASE never feel embarrassed. I know what to do, how to do it and most important, what to expect.  When I am done, 99% of the kids act like nothing ever happened.  And they look good too! 

In the past I worked for the board of education in district 75, the district for special needs children, and my shop is wheelchair accessible, everyone is welcome! 

A Final Thought About Small Stores Surviving In this Economy

Keep in mind everyone, that a store cannot live on haircuts alone.

I hesitate to say this, but while I am very busy, and often have to turn away walk-ins, as all of my customers know,  I haven't been able to find a second haircutter that can do this work well and like it. Without a second haircutter, not enough money comes into the shop, so I continue to struggle to keep Someplace Special going.

To survive, I must make income from selling things. But it painful to me when a child comes in and begs for a toy, and their parent says that they are on their way to Toys R Us, so they can't get something now.  You don't have to buy from me, but though it is hard for me to say this, if you do not, once in awhile, I cannot exist.  And that is part of the reason that there are so many empty store fronts on Riverdale Avenue, or any avenue in America.  The internet, the malls, and big stores have taken over.

Little stores cannot get the deals and the low wholesale prices that big stores get.  We do not get tax breaks. We cannot sell millions of items with low mark-ups and expect to pay our rent.  Owners have a hard time making a living wage.

If I don't make some money, how can I expand my inventory and serve you all better?

As time goes by, I have less and less toys, But I do have some nice ones...And I would LOVE to have more!

Please remember to shop locally.  If you do not, at least once in a while, someday, you will have no choice.  And honestly, where will you find someone like me who will sit on the floor with your child and play while they are giving her/him a haircut?

It really is your choice. I love what I do and I do not want to go away.

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