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Barber competition raises money for homeless ministry

Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Christian
Staff Writer
When it comes to fundraisers, the third annual Kingdom Image Barber Battle is on the cutting edge.
Twenty experienced barbers from around the country will face-off for bragging rights and a good cause at 3 p.m. May 7 at Miguelo’s in downtown Kissimmee.
Pastor Danna Camacho acknowledged that her ministry’s primary fundraiser is unusual compared to more traditional nonprofit money-makers, such as 5k runs and raffles.
But Camacho said the event really works.
“There is a brotherhood when it comes to barbers, and it’s amazing to see the skill they bring to the competition,” said the St. Cloud resident.
Proceeds benefit House of Every Nation, a mission-based ministry Camacho launched seven years ago. The organization focuses on providing food, clothing and other basic essentials to the homeless in Osceola County, including low-income families precariously housed in motels along U.S. Highway 192.
For its first two years, House of Every Nation functioned primarily as a youth-based ministry in Poinciana. Camacho’s four daughters helped spread the good word at school, until eventually the local pastor said an average of 90 teenagers attended services at her home each week.
About five years ago, Camacho said an eye-opening experience made her shift the focus of her mission.
“I saw a lady with a broken stroller and three kids,” said Camacho, who offered to pay for a motel room for the woman that night. “I was just drawn to her.”
The homeless woman hesitantly accepted the offer, but Camacho said she encountered an unexpected double standard when it came time to book the room at the Star Motel on U.S. 192.
“They knew her and her children, so they changed my key when they realized the room was for her,” Camacho said. “This motel had rooms prepared for tourists, then they had rooms prepared for the homeless.”
The pastor said the idea that someone would be treated differently due to their economic situation really bothered her.
“That caused an imprint on my life,” she said. “I just got reeled in after that.”
House of Every Nation gained support from other homeless advocates and agencies in the community. The group holds outreach trips every three months, providing food, first aid, fellowship and other assistance to those in need.
But helping others can be expensive. Camacho knew she needed a good fundraiser.
The pastor admitted she’d never heard of barber battles until she found herself volunteering at one a few years ago. Camacho said she soon realized the competition could be the answer to her prayers.
Categories at this year’s Kingdom Image range from Best Overall Transformation to Fastest Fade. Barbers from as far as New York and Boston have competed in the past. The event drew a crowd of about 500 people its debut year alone at Osceola Heritage Park.
The location has changed to Miguelo’s in downtown Kissimmee, but Camacho wants people to know that the club-atmosphere is still Christian and focused on the mission.
“The music is really loud, but it’s urban-style positive music, and we even have different pastors who come out to give a positive message and preach a little bit,” Camacho said.
Barbers and model volunteers can sign up to participate until the day of the event. It’s $100 for a barber to pre-register, but there’s more than $500 in prizes up for grabs. Barber students are also welcome to participate. General admission tickets are $20.
Barbers will also be on site to offer free cuts to attendees.
Camacho said many barbers who’ve participated in the past continue to help House of Every Nation by providing free cuts to the homeless during ministry outreach events throughout the year.
“I have their full support. They always ask if I need their help now,” the pastor said.
For more information, call 407-580-8461 or visit the event’s Facebook page, Kingdom Image Barber Battle.