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Jeremiah Soto cuts the hair of a homeless man in New Orleans.
—Screen shot

Desire to give back turns into much more for trio

A video by a Morgan City man documenting a desire to give back to those less fortunate has turned into much more than he and his friends who helped with the project have expected.
Jeremiah Soto, who recently traveled to New Orleans with friends to cut hair of the homeless, said he and his friends who helped with the video have received so much feedback that they are working to do more in various communities to make an impact.
Soto said in a recent Youtube video that he first discovered homeless people in New Orleans when he saw them while traveling to a New Orleans Saints game a few years ago. The images of those less fortunate stuck with him, and he said his talent of cutting hair he has been learning and perfecting in the past few years is a way he could give back to them.
“It was just something I was planning to do years back, and I thought it was the appropriate time,” Soto said Tuesday.
What followed the video’s posting on his Youtube channel Innovationmiah and local media coverage by KWBJ-TV 22 has been an outpouring of support he and his friends have received. Soto and his fiancée, Taylor Gros, as well as Soto’s friend Gavin Sauce, all of Morgan City, now are working on forming a nonprofit to do more.
The video has prompted people to send messages asking how they can help or donate.
A Facebook page, Innovation Outreach, has been established to better organize the trio’s efforts and more information will be forthcoming about plans and how the public can help.
Soto said plenty more things are planned for the future, particularly during the holidays.
“It’s going to be epic,” said Soto, a 2020 Morgan City High School graduate. “It’s going to be big, and we just want more people to be a part of it as well as help.”
When traveling to New Orleans to make the video about two weeks ago, the group had some nerves about the project, but it ended up working out well.
“The people we actually cut (their hair), they were all nice …,” Sauce said.
“Even the people that said no, they were genuine about it. They were sweet,” Soto added.
Sauce and Soto said it felt good to be a part of this project, in which Soto completed two haircuts out of about 10 people they asked.
“It feels awesome, especially to do something for somebody that you were once in a position in and to see them smile, it was like a million bucks,” said Soto, who said he can relate from overcoming challenges growing up. “It was way better than making any attention off of it. It was just incredible. It was a good feeling.”
Until more information is available on the group’s upcoming plans, Soto recommended multiple ways the public can help. He said they can do something positive for others, or they can subscribe to the group’s Youtube channel Innovationmiah, and like and share the videos.
Soto said there will be a secure way for those who wish to donate money for future projects to do so via the group’s Facebook page. He said no donation is too small.
As events approach, volunteering opportunities will be communicated to the public via the group’s Facebook page.


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