Hometown Hero | Diamond Lewis

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 9:23 PM EDT
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RUSSELL, Ky. (WSAZ) - Diamond Lewis remembers being taught as a kid: “Always be kind. You never know what someone else is going through.”

Lewis is the main guy behind the idea, earning him the distinction of this week’s WSAZ Hometown Hero. His business, Sideburns Stadium Cuts in Russell, also knows the confidence a new pair of shoes and backpack can give children headed back to school. In years past, he’s given away free haircuts to students.

“We knew this year after COVID some organizations didn’t get help. I knew we had to do something that was going to impact someone longer than a haircut,” Lewis said.

Beginning in March, he and his employees began collecting shoes and backpacks for the upcoming school year. Sideburns Stadium Haircuts collected 300 pairs of shoes and 300 backpacks for six area school districts to give to children who might otherwise not have access to them.

Lewis is the main guy behind the idea, earning him the distinction of this week’s WSAZ Hometown Hero.

“I always tell people at Sideburns their money is going back to work in the community,” Lewis said. “A lot of homes are struggling financially, physically, and who knows what going on with some kids. Somebody has to step up and help.”

Their Teays Valley location collected 200 backpacks to donate to kids in Putnam County, West Virginia.

Lewis thanked the community for their support because he believes it wouldn’t be possible without them.

“It takes teamwork. It’s the team behind us. We want to give back to our community; that’s what it’s all about,” Lewis said.

Jodie Hunt of Backpack Buddies said their organization relies on help from people like Lewis. Backpack Buddies is a non-profit organization that regularly provides food and clothing donations to children in need.

“It makes us who we are. We want every kid to feel special and have something new to them,” Hunt said. “He has a loving heart. He sees the need in our community and helps provide to get these kids back to school looking and feeling good.”

Lewis’s piece of advice for children is to “never give up, and know that someone out there loves you.”

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