KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville barber has gone above and beyond for one of his customers.
When Benton Caster, who owns the Covenant House of Grooming in Fountain City, heard that the mother of one of his customers had cancer and needed a haircut, he didn’t think twice about lending a helping hand.
“I’ve been cutting hair since I was 12 years old,” Caster said. “I grew up really poor. Grew up in Western Heights out here in Knoxville and my parents couldn’t afford to give me a haircut. So, I got a pair of clippers and I started learning how to cut my own hair.”
Caster explained that he’s been through some of his own struggles, and wants to help give back to the community.
“At 18 I went to prison, I served four years in a Tennessee State Penitentiary, and then 7 years ago I gave my life to the Lord.”
Two years ago he decided to go back to his roots by getting his barber’s license and in December of last year he open up his own barbershop.
“I want to use the talents that God’s placed in me to give back to those around me,” he said.
So, when one of his customers had a special request, Caster didn’t think twice.
“Mom had been trying to find someone to come out and cut her hair,” said David Boone who’s been going to Caster’s barbershop for the past several months. “We couldn’t find anybody. I mentioned something to him. He said, ‘David, I would be glad to come out and do it.”
Boone’s mom, Ruth Garringer, was just diagnosed with stage four cancer.
“Anybody that’s been through treatments knows it’s not easy, but you got to do what you got to do,” Garringer said.
She can’t leave the house but wanted to cut most of her hair before it all started to fall out as she begins treatment.
“I didn’t want to go in and pull it out of the shower drain,” she explained.
Though Caster doesn’t usually cut women’s hair, when he heard Ruth’s story he felt moved to help.
“She is such a loving woman and she was so spunky and just so positive in the midst of everything going on and that’s why I’m here,” Caster stated.
It was a small act that gave Garringer a chance to feel special, which is all Caster needed for his service.
“The thing that impressed me the most is that when we went to give him payment, he refused to take payment, and said, ‘look, Ms. Ruth, my ultimate goal is to get to a point where I can cut hair for people and change somebody’s life without having to charge them money.”
“You never know in a moment what someone can be going through and how a simple haircut and being positive and being upbeat can literally change the course of somebody’s life at that moment,” Castor explained.
It’s a life Garringer said, she’s going to live to the fullest.
“I’m dealing with it. I’m a fighter and I’m not going to give up.”
Caster said his dream is to cut hair for free for people in prison, the homeless, and for children with disabilities.