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Greenwich Hairstylist Becomes Unlikely Philanthropist

Becker Chicaiza, right, presents the first-ever Becker Salon Leadership Award to Kids In Crisis executive director Shari Shapiro at his salon in Greenwich.
Becker Chicaiza, right, presents the first-ever Becker Salon Leadership Award to Kids In Crisis executive director Shari Shapiro at his salon in Greenwich. Photo Credit: Courtesy of marsindigital.com

GREENWICH, Conn. -- You probably would not expect a Greenwich hair salon to be a hub of philanthropy, but Becker Salon on Mason Street has become just that.

Becker Chicaiza, who emigrated from Ecuador to the United States 30 years ago, has quietly contributed to dozens of charities and nonprofit organizations in the Greenwich area for the past six years.

Although Chicaiza says he wants his contributions to stay low-profile, he has founded the Becker Salon Leadership to elevate the visibility of the groups he donates to.

He recently presented the first-ever Becker Salon Leadership Award to Shari Shapiro, executive director of Greenwich-based Kids in Crisis.

The award will be given to top leaders of 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Fairfield and Westchester counties on a quarterly basis, according to Chicaiza.

"I think true philanthropy is done quietly and from the heart," Shapiro said. "Becker exemplifies that and makes a huge difference. It always helps to know someone is in your corner, and we know that Becker is always in our corner to support us."

Shapiro said many mornings she finds care packages or donations when she arrives to work at the Kids in Crisis house and will know, "Becker was here."

Chicaiza doesn't stop at organized charities, either. He is seen several mornings a week donating food to Hispanic immigrants in Greenwich, Stamford and Port Chester, N.Y.

"I'm very thankful for this town, and it has supported me so much ever since I came here," he said. "So I love to give back to this beautiful town."

In addition to receiving the award and a monetary donation to Kids in Crisis, Chicaiza also treated Shapiro to a free hair-styling session.

Kids in Crisis is Connecticut’s only free, round-the-clock agency that provides emergency shelter, crisis counseling and community educational programs for children of all ages and families dealing with a wide range of crises, including domestic violence, mental health and family problems, substance abuse, economic difficulties and more, according to the organization's website.

Becker Salon is accepting nominations for the next recipient of the Becker Salon Leadership Award on its website.

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