Rockford woman donates talent to help those in need

Showers of Blessing nonprofit gives free showers, food and haircuts to anyone who needs it.
Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rachel Strunk of Rockford has been cutting hair for nearly thirty years. When she heard about the nonprofit Showers of Blessing, she knew she had to help.

The charity, Showers of Blessing, was created in 2019 by Emily Goken, Shari DeLong, and Brian DeLong. They offer meals and free showers to anyone who is unsheltered, or just low on money at the moment.

“I’d love to help out. I said I’ll do hair. They said really? I said sure, I’ll do hair,” said Strunk.

Showers of Blessing drives their shower trailer to Second First Church and Five Gates Church in Rockford several times a month. Once a month, Strunk sets up her chair in the lot and gives free haircuts.

“It’s one of those things that we take for granted, I think,” said Strunk. “It’s a simple thing that can put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel like a million bucks.”

New people stop by every time along with some regulars they’ve come to know, according to one of the founders of Showers of Blessing, Shari DeLong.

“We’ve got a great group of individuals. Some gals that are running around town that will wrangle up our homeless, that they know of, that they’re working with daily,” said DeLong. “They bring them here and they let them know that we’ll be here.”

Strunk said the conversations and friendships she builds with each trim is what brings her back every month.

“It’s great to give them just that, ‘You’re a person’. You know what I mean? You’re a normal person. They tell me their life. We start talking about family, and where you’re from,” said Strunk. “Just to make them feel like they’re important and not judge them, and not question them, and just make them feel good.”

In addition to the haircuts, each person who stops by receives a free drawstring bag with items such as deodorant, tissues, toothbrushes and flip flops. Everything in the care package is donated. Anyone with items to donate can go to Showers of Blessing Facebook page.

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