Andrea DeLeon has been a tattoo artist for seven years, working on everything from simple lines, to intricate designs.
"They always come in with an idea and say 'this is what I want' and you kind of just go with it," DeLeon said.
The going rate for one, varies depending on the size. "Most shop's minimum is $50," he continued.
On Monday, March 27, five of them will be free after a quick Facebook post. "In honor of spreading love not hate, I'll be offering free cover up tattoos for any racist, gang, self-harm victim," DeLeon said.
She never imagined how many replies she would get. "I mean I had so many I don't know if I'm going to be able to answer everybody anytime soon."
DeLeon's inbox exploded with messages from complete strangers, all with different stories to tell.
"I'm excited to do it, I'm more than happy to do it," she said.
Her first client was a victim of self-harm. "Cutting is like a huge thing in high school - it's huge.
"You don't know how many people come in here with these huge scars all over their arms and it just breaks my heart to think you went through your entire life feeling so bad that that's what you had to do to yourself," DeLeon said.
While she saw another tattoo shop in Maryland offering free tattoos for the same reasons, DeLeon's passion has always been there. "I've been really wanting to get into the whole scar cover ups, burn victims, sex trafficking, all that kind of stuff," she said. "Those things I think are important to remove from your body or cover up so you don't have to look at them or be reminded of them everyday."
She's combining her passion for art, with her compassion for others.
"I have a skill that, you know you got to do some good, you can't just be greedy all your life," DeLeon continued. "If you got something that you can help somebody with, I feel like you should do it.
"It shouldn't be that serious, you don't need a dollar for everything that you do, do you?"
DeLeon's shop is inside Meteor Ink at 441 Division Ave S in Grand Rapids. She will be offering the service on Monday's for the foreseeable future, by appointment only.
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