Random acts of kindness can go a long way. For Mark Bustos, 30, giving free haircuts to the homeless is his way of paying it forward. Every Sunday, the hairstylist from an upscale New York City Salon wanders around Union Square, the Lower East Side and Midtown to up to ten haircuts in a day, rain or shine.
Bustos began giving haircuts to the homeless in 2012 after a trip to the Philippines. During his visit, he could not help but notice the number of impoverished children. To make a contribution, he decided to rent a barbershop and provide haircuts for free. “It made me feel so good,” Bustos told The New York Times, “It was right to bring it home to New York.”
Ever since, free haircuts to the homeless have been his Sunday ritual and now Bustos knows a majority of people by name. He always performs the haircuts on the streets so that others can see when they walk by, hoping they get a little inspiration. Bustos first looks to park benches and if they’re taken, he flips over milk crates or shopping carts.
Giving free haircuts allows Bustos to gain his own inspiration and feels like he is truly paying it forward. He previously told The New York Times when a man looked in the mirror after his styling and said, “Do you know anyone who is hiring. I’m ready to go get a job.” Since, Bustos has not seen him anywhere on the streets which he takes as a positive sign , hoping that he did get a job.
Bustos’s random acts of kindness are the very reason why Devin Masga follows him on his adventures and photographs before and after photos and posts them on an Instagram feed with the hashtag #BeAwesomeToSomebody. With more than 215,000 Instagram followers, Bustos constantly has people offering to donate gift cards while asking how they can personally contribute to his movement. “People ask me if I can come out with you or join your team,” Bustos told The New York Times, “My answer is to just go and do it.”
Bustos not only inspires himself but as well as others to get up and do something. Bustos is a humanitarian and someone who doesn’t mind working for free. Follow his Instagram @markbustos and you can become inspired too. Get out there and do something!