BY DEAN MOSES
Newly established barbershop Bibi & JD’s in Woodside kicked off the season of giving by offering free haircuts on Sunday, Nov. 15, to raise money for the Swim Strong Foundation.
Bibi & JD’s Barbershop has the rare distinction of being one of only a few businesses that held an opening ceremony in Queens during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when many other establishments were forced to close their doors for good due to financial hardship.
Thanks to steady and dedicated clientele, the new enterprise has been able to weather the coronavirus storm. Now, in order to celebrate their two-month anniversary and give back to the community that has helped them succeed, the barbershop teamed with the Swim Strong Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to prevent accidental drowning through water education. All day, the 63-25 Roosevelt Ave. location performed free haircuts and stylings for walk-in customers with hairdressers, only asking for small donations to benefit the Swim Strong Foundation.
“We want people to know we are here for them, that we are going to be out there if there is a need for us to jump in. For us it is important to give back. Part of us opening this shop was because a lot of our friends in the community were jobless and we wanted to teach the craft while generating some income for them and us. Since we are a part of this community, we want to make sure we support [them] wherever we can,” said co-owner Jose Campos.
While the sound of scissors snipping and electric razors buzzing reverberated throughout the rustic storefront divided by plastic partitions to maintain social distancing measures, members of the Swim Strong Foundation stood outside handing out information packets and notifying passersby of the free event as well as their goal as a nonprofit organization.
“Our mission is to reduce drowning and water-based accidents by giving affordable swim classes from ages 3 through seniors. Out of the water, we have a new programming called Know Before You Go, which addresses water safety from an environmental point of view, so the nature and danger of different types of water, allowing people to make decisions to keep them safe,” said Shawn Slevin the founder and executive director of the Swim Strong Foundation.
By the end of the day, the barber shops performed dozens of free haircuts, befitting the good cause.