Jennifer's Heroes: Volunteer Barber, Robert Barnett

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

December 17, 2009

The men at Mountainside Senior Living in Crozet are thankful for Robert Barnett, who provides them with free haircuts and priceless camaraderie.

“Once you get involved in a situation like this, you can't give up; you're heart won't let you. I'll be back next month to help out again; they'll be waiting in line with their walkers and wheel chairs, and I'll bring them in. It's wonderful to help out,” said Barnett.

Barnett makes a living doing physical outdoor labor, but five years ago he decided to go to Barber School for something to fall back on one day. Little did Barnett know, he was brushing up to be a hero.

“He's been coming here for four years, and in all kinds of inclement weather. He doesn't let the residents down. He usually has a long line of people waiting for him,” said Mountainside employee June King.

Once a month, Barnett drives from Charlottesville to Crozet to give residents at Mountainside a trim. He often spends two or three hours at the senior living center, making sure everyone in line has their chance to sit in the salon chair. Many residents use the monthly time with Barnett to chit-chat and get some thoughts off their chest.

“We talk about sports or anything else that's current. It sort of takes you away from the everyday routine. It's nice,” said Mountainside resident Doug Castle.

In addition to the bond with their barber, Barnett's clients say these visits are a gift for another reason.

“I said well can I pay you for it, but he said 'no, no that's my gift.' So, it's a wonderful gift of all of us... I think I can speak for all the men here,” said Castle.

The men at Mountainside Senior Living agree that even outside the beauty salon, Robert Barnett is a cut above the rest. And that makes him this week's hero.

If you know a hero, Jennifer would love to hear about his or her story. Shoot her an email at and you could see your hero featured on the CBS19 News at 6.

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