Giving Back, One Trim at a Time

Building Community

Our Story: LSMNJ 2016

Giving Back, One Trim at a Time

2016 LSMNJ Annual Report
Lutheran Senior LIFE recognized the contribution of Angel's Barbershop with a special luncheon and presentation of a certificate.

Cutting hair is personal. Cutting hair is social. Cutting hair is community.

That’s how Angel Rodriguez sees it. That’s why he cuts hair for Jersey City’s Lutheran Senior LIFE community. To him, it’s personal.

“It means a lot to me to get involved in the community” Angel tells us. “It’s my way of giving back.” In the more than 10 years since he opened, Angel’s Barber Shop on Newark Avenue has become a Jersey City icon. “These people are my neighbors. They’re my friends.”

And for the last five years, he’s given back… one snip, one clip, one comb at a time – all free to any of the 140 participants of Lutheran Senior LIFE. If they had to pay, it would be a real pinch on an already very tight personal budget. Everyone enrolled in the program are very low income seniors with health issues that merit nursing home level of care.

“I like to think of our program as a great alternative for elders needing nursing home care but don’t want to make the daunting move to a nursing home,” says Lutheran Senior LIFE, Director, Marketing & Enrollment Jennifer Mojave. “Seniors participating in our program have access to a clinic, an adult day-center, a variety of physical and mental health therapies, home health services, prescription delivery services, transportation to and from appointments, recreational activities, family support, 24/7 on call service, and much more. Lutheran Senior LIFE provides everything you or your loved one could need or desire, all in one place.”

“The haircuts fit right into what we do,” Jennifer explains. “We take a van to Angel’s shop twice a month. Our recreation department coordinates the trip and signs up eight to ten people each time. Angel and one of his barbers always greet us with a smile.” Since some of his Lutheran Senior LIFE clients are in wheelchairs, it can be a challenge, but Angel and his staff roll with it.

When asked about his recent haircut courtesy of Angel, a LIFE participant comments, “Angel’s a barber, just like I had years ago. We talk about all sorts of things. It’s a place you can relax.” Thinking about it, he adds, “Angel’s more than a barber. He’s a friend, who just happens to have scissors.”

2016 LSMNJ Annual Report

Angel's Barber Shop

So I heard you are a "VOLUNTEER"
The world could use a lot more people like you
Those that really care...

And we are so fortunate
And you are so nice
And we just want to say...

We really appreciate you here at
Lutheran Senior LIFE

May God’s blessings always be upon your
Humble gifted hands
Volunteers like us all understand

Every haircut you give...touches our soul
Your kindness is worth its weight in gold

You share your gift with heart in hand
Angel’s Barbershop,

You are the man!

Author - Deveatrice Bryant, staff Lutheran Senior LIFE