After going nearly eight years without a haircut, Tom Blackett (28) started a social media campaign to raise money and awareness for homelessness, which culminated in him cutting his hair and beard last week.
Tom raised $3,300 for AnglicareSA’s Elizabeth Mission, which provides food, blankets and other vital emergency support to people experiencing homelessness.
“I have a huge passion for helping the homeless and donating to Foodbank and other charities when I can,” Tom said.
“The last few weeks with all this virus chaos, now more than ever is a time to help people less fortunate.
Tom plays for the Elizabeth Downs Soccer Club and has been overwhelmed by the support from his club, family and friends, who have rallied together despite the current pandemic.
“I have copped plenty of grief over the years, from opposition fans and a few of our own fans for my long locks — none of which I actually have taken to heart, I just think it’s hilarious,” he said.
“I’ve always said if I cut my hair it will be for a charitable cause.”
AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said Tom’s selfless generosity will go a long way in not only providing immediate support, but raising important awareness for those who are struggling during winter and the pandemic.
“It’s terrific to see people like Tom in our community who really care and are willing to go out of their way to help those less fortunate — it’s these individual contributions at the grassroots that make a real difference,” he said.
“It also shines an important light on the increasing impact of homelessness and the vulnerable situations many South Australians are finding themselves in as a result of the pandemic.”
Tom visited the AnglicareSA Elizabeth Mission on Friday to personally donate the funds to AnglicareSA.
He thanks everyone who has supported him and stresses that his initiative was only possible due to a “collective team effort”.
“One person, one day,” Tom said.
If you’d like to help people in need, you can donate to AnglicareSA’s Winter Appeal. Donations from the appeal allow AnglicareSA to provide food, clothing, and other urgent support to South Australians in need.