KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A big donation by Sports Clips Haircuts will help veterans get their college education.
The company will donate $1.35 million to the Help a Hero scholarship program, officials announced Monday at the VFW National Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.
"It makes a big difference in their lives," said Gordon Logan, founder of Sports Clips and a U.S. Air Force veteran. "It minimizes, if not eliminates, student debt they have and student loans that may be a big burden for them in their future careers."
Sports Clips began the fundraiser in October with the goal to exceed last year's donation of $1.25 million. By Veterans Day, the company had raised more than any other year in its 11-year history of supporting the Help a Hero initiative.
"I'm not using the GI Bill right away so I would need to pay for college for a couple years," said Army Specialist Ian Tucker, who is a first time Help a Hero scholarship recipient. "Not having to pay for college is a huge burden off my back."
Tucker is enrolled at Missouri State University to study criminal justice. He plans to attend law school after he graduates.
"We've had a number of scholarship recipients that are in graduate school, medical school or law school," Logan said. "The GI Bill is a good foundation. This is a supplement to it and replacement once it has been exhausted."
Clients, individual supporters and Sports Clips team members donated the money, along with several sponsors. On Veterans Day, Sports Clips raised more than $100,000 through its $1-per-haircare donation.
The Help a Hero scholarship program started in 2013. To date, nearly 1,300 student veterans have received scholarship grants of up to $5,000 to help them with higher education.