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Family Endeavors rejuvenates veterans in need

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By AMANDA DOLASINSKI | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: December 16, 2017

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Veterans in need were treated to haircuts, massages and flu shots as part of a Family Endeavors first Operation Rejuvenation event on Friday.

"My staff wanted to give back during the holidays," said Michelle Blanding, program director for the nonprofit's veteran support services. "It's a relaxing day."

Family Endeavors, a national nonprofit agency, provides programs and services to support veterans and their families. The event on Friday was open to homeless and low-income veterans, but also to any needy resident.

The event offered free haircuts and styling, facials, massages and flu shots. There also were representatives on hand from the Department of Veterans Affairs and NC Works to help with job search assistance.

People filtered in throughout the day. Blanding said she hopes to have another rejuvenation event next year.

"I want them to know there's resources out here and people truly care about their well-being," Blanding said. "People are willing to give."

A haircut, as simple as it is, can change a person's attitude, she said.

"Totally different," she said. "It makes them feel good about themselves, makes them feel important."

Tameka Adams, a licensed cosmetologist, was one of the volunteers who assisted during the day. She styled women's hair and provided tips on hair care.

Adams said she picks a community event to volunteer for every year and was thrilled to be part of this event. Since her mother, father and sister served in the military, she said she wanted to be part of an event that benefited veterans.

"I love helping people and giving back," she said. "(Veterans) have went and paved the way and gave service to our country. Why not give service back to them?"

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