Despite Covid-19 Closures, Paul Mitchell Schools Raise $852,000 for Charity

July 7, 2020
Paul Mitchell Schools
Giving Back

Each year, more than 100 schools and 14,000 Future Professionals in Paul Mitchell cosmetology and barbering schools voluntarily raise money for a variety of national and local charities. This year’s campaign started in February but came to a screeching halt when the coronavirus pandemic struck. The schools had just reached the midway point before the nation shut down and quarantine began.

After only five weeks and thousands of creative “FUNraising events,” Paul Mitchell Schools raised over $852,000 to benefit nine national charities and dozens of local nonprofits, bringing their 17-year total to over $22 million. Most important, the cost incurred in raising the $22 million has been less than 7%, an amazingly low amount compared to the national average of 25%.

“Like every other business, the health and safety of our students and team members became our highest priority, but the needs of our supported charities and the people they serve remained high on our list,” said Paul Mitchell Schools Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh. “Although our regular lives might be on hold, the needs of the people we serve through these charities are not on hold. The 10,000 orphans we feed through Food 4 Africa every day are not on hold. The potentially life-threatening diseases of the 10 million children who walk into a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital cannot wait for a curve to flatten. Victims of human trafficking are in grave danger and need Cast’s help now. Every one of our charity partners reported that they were increasing, not decreasing, their efforts to meet the needs of the people they serve, and we were proud to lend a hand.”

While Paul Mitchell Schools were adapting to their own specific challenges, they didn’t hesitate when asked to turn in their funds so our charity partners could continue their work. Grants of $50,000 each went to Best Friends Animal Society, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast), Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Food 4 Africa, Gary Sinise Foundation, Leeza’s Care Connection, No Limits, and Thirst Project.

Additional funds went to the Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, which provided grants to the following organizations:

> $10,000 to Franciscan Haircuts from the Heart, which provides haircuts for people who are homeless, elderly, disabled, or poor.

>  $10,000 to the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) Disaster Relief Fund, which helps beauty industry professionals rebuild their lives after natural disasters.

>  $25,000 to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids, which provides free wigs and support services children and young adults experiencing hair loss due to cancer, alopecia, burns, trichotillomania, and other disorders.

>  $25,000 to EBeauty, which provides wigs for women undergoing chemotherapy treatments through its Wig Exchange and Hospital Partnership programs.

>  $25,000 to Hair Aid, which teaches the skill of hair cutting to people living in poverty so they can start their own micro businesses and earn money to support their families.

Local Charities

Giving back has always been a cornerstone of Paul Mitchell Schools. In addition to supporting the national and international charities, many Paul Mitchell Schools raise money and provide hands-on support for local charities in their own communities. This year, the schools raised over $87,000 for 79 local charities, including Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Homeboy Industries, which is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

Winn says, “People often ask why we promote FUNraising in our schools. We believe that service is the rent we pay for room on this earth, so it’s our job to make sure we provide opportunities for our students to give back. Our FUNraising campaign lets us give back to our communities, join together as a team for something important outside of work, and provide our students with opportunities to develop skills that will help them in their careers and in life.”

Messages from Our Partners

>  John Paul DeJoria, cofounder and chairman of Paul Mitchell, acknowledged the schools’ longtime support for Food 4 Africa. To date, the schools have provided more than 28 million meals for orphaned children. “We are extremely proud of our dedicated Future Professionals and staff who have—during these trying times—raised over $850,000 for the benefit of others. This is an example of true heroes: thinking of and helping others during these times,” John Paul said. Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $1.1 million.

>  Marie Osmond, co-host of The Talk, popular entertainer, and cofounder of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, said, “Children’s hospitals are on the frontlines of the Covid-19 crisis, open 24/7/365 to provide high-quality, compassionate care. To meet these urgent demands, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is committed to ensuring 170 children’s hospitals across North America have the resources they need to care for the most vulnerable kids. But we can’t do it alone. That is where amazing fundraising partners like Paul Mitchell Schools step in to support. Kids can’t wait for a cure, for the curve to flatten, or for an economic boost. Thank you, Paul Mitchell Schools, for your continued support and generous donation.” Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $1.5 million.

>  Gary Sinise, who played Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump and founded the Gary Sinise Foundation, said, “I am grateful to all those at Paul Mitchell Schools for their incredible support during this difficult time. With the launch of our Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service, we’ve been able to add additional assistance to our nation’s healthcare professionals, as well as support first responders, service members, veterans, and their families who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus. On behalf of everyone at Gary Sinise Foundation, thank you, Paul Mitchell Schools.” Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $935,000.

>  Representing No Limits for Deaf Children and Families, motivational speaker and deaf comedian Kathy Buckley said, “Covid may have put the world on hold but not the hearts of Paul Michell Schools, who continue raising and donating funds to much-needed nonprofits worldwide. No Limits is so very grateful. Their donation allowed us to create a summer school program to keep the children and families active and connected during these trying times as well as to provide food for them. No deaf child of No Limits will be without for Paul Mitchell Schools made sure of that. Thank you for the continuous support.” Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $950,000.

>  Talk show host and health advocate Leeza Gibbons founded Leeza’s Care Connection to support caregivers and help families cope. “When the lockdowns started, Paul Mitchell Schools were planning their fundraising efforts, like they do every year,” Leeza Said. “With schools closed and events shut down, how were they going to honor their tradition of making a difference? They moved forward—not in spite of it all, but because of the added challenge. They chose not to focus on what we lost but on the resilience we gained and on the hopefulness that is inseparable from their culture. Against all odds, our charity and several others got the donations that are so urgent to our operations. More than that, we got a reminder that people are good, we’re not what happens to us, and no matter what, we find a way forward.” Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $1.2 million.

>  Thirst Project founder and CEO and one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” Seth Maxwell, says, “Show me a collection of schools, future professionals, educators, and owners of institutions who give of themselves more faithfully, more consistently, or more generously than the Paul Mitchell Schools. You simply cannot. There are none. We at Thirst Project have been SO busy the past few months. The Ministry of Health in ESwatini asked us to play a lead role in shaping their Covid-19 response in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. We deployed more than $150,000 in the first eight weeks of the crisis to build handwashing stations and donated hygiene kits with soap and sanitizer to over 100 villages serving 10,000 homesteads. How can you fight COVID-19 without safe water or if you can’t wash your hands? The Paul Mitchell Schools’ generous support of our work year after year has allowed us to scale our programs and literally save lives.” Paul Mitchell Schools’ donations to date: $550,00.

>  Cast (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) Executive Director Kay Buck says, “Cast is an essential service provider during the two pandemics we face today: the Covid crisis and racial inequality. When the Covid shelter-in-place orders commenced, we knew that home was not safer for victims of human trafficking who were trapped in place with traffickers. Cast’s doors remain open 24/7 to provide emergency housing, safety, and healthcare—a 270% spike in services since March. There has never been such an urgent time to take action. Words truly are not enough to express our gratitude to Paul Mitchell Schools for continuing their support even when their Future Professionals were experiencing hardships as well. Partnerships like ours demonstrate that love, hope, and action will prevail over any tragedy or injustice that comes our way. Paul Mitchell Schools’ donation to date: $425,000.

>  Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle says, “Paul Mitchell Schools truly represent what silver linings are all about during these challenging and uncertain times of 2020.  It’s an honor to be associated with a company that places such a high value on generosity and kindness. We are so incredibly grateful to be a recipient of their FUNraising campaign, and admire their commitment to Best Friends Animal Society and animals across the country.”

Related Links

To learn more about this year’s charity partners and find out how you can partner with your local Paul Mitchell School or join the FUNraising campaign, visit

>  YouTube 2020 FUNraising playlist:
>  16-Year FUNraising History video:
>  Marie Osmond Thanks Paul Mitchell Schools:
>  Leeza Gibbons Thanks Paul Mitchell Schools:
>  Kathy Buckley Thanks Paul Mitchell Schools:
>  2020 FUNraising photos:

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