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Chiefs WR Justin Watson, wife Erica help Operation Breakthrough cut down hair insecurity

Operation Breakthrough haircuts
Posted at 9:49 PM, Feb 01, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City Chiefs player and his wife are helping out Operation Breakthrough with a major donation.

On Wednesdays, hair club is always abuzz with activity at Operation Breakthrough.

Michelle Jones says kids love coming in for a new look.

"It makes them feel good about their self," she said. “I came here four years ago, and I just started seeing children that just was walking around with their hair kind of like matted to their head, or hair’s not washed.”

Jones got it started with styling, but that alone wasn't cutting it.

When licensed cosmetologist Erica Watson met Jones at a Chiefs volunteer event, she stepped up.

"Anything that we can do just to give these kids an opportunity to succeed — I'm all here for it," Watson said.

She and her husband, Justin Watson, moved here when he signed as a Chiefs wide receiver.

"So I asked Mary how could I get involved, or if there's anything I could do to help, and the next week I was here cutting hair," she said.

She's been helping Jones for weeks, but the they want to do more.

"The first day I came here to do hair, it just like broke my heart and I just broke down to Justin and I was like we have to do something," Watson said.

The Watsons are funding construction for an entire salon inside Operation Breakthrough.

Having proper facilities will help the team better cut hair, and allows them to wash hair too.

Mary Esselman, CEO of Operation Breakthrough, says it's a godsend for kids who just need a little extra care.

"We want out kids to be resilient; we want them to be self-confident," Esselman said. "A lot of self-efficacy and it's really hard to do that if you're not feeling great about how you look."