The :20 Second Timeout Foundation started like most of my dreams, in my basement. When I was cutting hair at home it was easy for kids back then to have their needs met. All they would have to do back then was to reach in their mothers’ purses, grab five dollars, then come down to my basement to get a haircut.
But that changed once I got my own shop downtown; it went from them sneaking five dollars for a haircut to the grandmother bringing all of their grandkids to the barbershop. That became a common theme. Grandparents bringing grandkids to the barbershop because the kid’s parents were hooked on drugs. From the moment they walked in the shop you could tell they needed some assistance.
It never ceased to amaze me the look on the face of a grandparents when I tell them that, “the haircut’s on me.” That became a no-brainer for me to help someone in need. I was a product of the village raising me so it only made sense to pay it forward to someone in need. Timeout At Shannon’s is the name of my barbershop, so what better name than The :20 Second Timeout for my foundation. The barbershop represents a full timeout. Ask yourself a question: If you're about to lose a game and have a few seconds left on the clock, what does a coach do? The coach would call for a timeout to draw up one last play.
Thus, The :20 Second Timeout Foundation was born. I wanted to create something to help those that really wanted to win and make a difference in their community as well as life and society. It started with giving away free haircuts, to backpacks and school supplies, to now doing more. I know what a haircut does for the man; it gives him his swag back along with his purpose. The :20 Second Timeout Foundation will empower the next generation, it will give them core values, and it will help build character, as well as drive excellence and definitely support education. It will also teach them you can’t get anywhere in life by yourself. It will always take a village.