Barber visits hospital patient to give free haircut
SAN ANTONIO - Miguel Gonzalez sees himself as a barbershop owner and a community advocate.
“We gave free haircuts for 6 hours for back to school," he told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf, who visited his business.
Photos on the wall at Nuevo Estilo on West Hildebrand Avenue near I-10 showcase all kinds of events where Gonzalez said he used his barbershop to give back.
“We try to take time, all the time, to give back,” he said while pointing to some of the photos. “We've done so well with what we've done, being here four years strong. When we were young, my grandmother raised me a certain way. And it was to give forward--to pay it forward--and give to other people. It was a big deal to us."
One family he helped said they’ll be forever grateful for his kindness. Gonzalez recently visited a hospital during some time off to help a stranger. He turned a hospital bed into a makeshift barber chair for 58-year-old Pete Vasquez.
He’s a man who prides himself on having a clean, sharp look.
“We shaved him all up and got him real nice and clean,” he explained. “His hair was like shoulder length and I was told to make him just look good again."
Vasquez suffers from Parkinson's disease. Liver problems only worsened his health. So when his family turned to Facebook to ask if anyone could help their father feel like himself again, Gonzalez answered the call after he was tagged in the post.
His daughter, Crystal Vasquez-Ruiz, turned to Fox San Antonio’s CASH FOR KINDNESS program to help thank the barber for his selflessness.
"I actually reached out to Ryan to show you appreciation and thank you for what you did for my family,” Vasquez-Ruiz told Gonzalez inside the barbershop. “You and your wife took your time out of your day to give my dad a haircut. I'm sorry I'm emotional. You made him feel like a whole different person that day and it kind of meant a lot. So I wanted to pay it forward because you didn't want to accept any money from my mom."
Vasquez-Ruiz had her father record Gonzalez a special message on her cell phone to thank him for his kindness. He couldn’t speak on the day of his visit due to his worsening condition.
"Say CASH FOR KINDNESS just for you,” Vasquez’s daughter told her father.
Vasquez, who struggled to speak while showing visible signs of trembling, said in a soft voice “CASH FOR KINDNESS.”
With the surprise revealed, Wolf asked Gonzalez to put out his hand.
“We reward selfless acts of kindness," he told him.
Gonzalez was handed a cash award on behalf of Fox San Antonio.
“$700, $800, $900, $1,000,” he said while counting the money aloud. “Thank you! And thank you!"
He reached out and gave Vasquez-Ruiz a hug then said “even though we take the time to do these things, sometimes we need the help too.” He added, “My family does need it."
Click here to nominate someone for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.