We kicked off our initiative back in the fall, to give kids a chance to get growing...and they sure did! Out of less than 90 girls in our school, 8 rose to the challenge and made the commitment, while several others were willing, but their hair length didn't make the cut. So to speak. But they're lined up for next year!
Here is the "before" of Maggie, Mommy and Frannie, the morning of the big event:
At 1:00 pm, our entire school gathered to watch the kids make their generous donation.(A special mention to our fantastic student emcees and DJ, who read profiles of each student and kept the assembly hopping with great tunes.)
Of course, I made an after-school appointment at a real salon, where the girls and I had our new "dos" perfected. While I think Frannie and Maggie both look absolutely adorable (and believe me, it took the hairdressers a fair bit of work to patch up the hack job I did to them on stage!) I'm still not quite sure about my short hair. I've never had it this short in my life (maybe Grade 1?) and the hairdresser actually needed a RAZOR to trim up the back, which freaked me out just a little bit. I'll readily admit that I desperately needed a cut, as my locks were getting very straggly, but I'm more a mid-length kinda gal.
And yes, these photos were taken at a restaurant, which one of my friends immediately remarked on when I texted them to her. Did you really think I would cook after such a big day?
This whole experience really has sparked a sense of empathy, not only in the girls, but in me as well. The night before the event, I was staring at Maggie on the couch thinking "Oh, she looks so pretty with her long hair..." when a little voice in my brain quickly countered with "So you're sad that your healthy child is going to have a bob? Can you imagine if her hair was gone entirely, because of some sort of medical condition?"
Then this morning, waking up, one of my first thoughts was "I don't like my hair short...", immediately followed by "Poor you, would you like it better if it were all falling out, because of your CHEMO?" My perspective returned pretty quickly.
I wanted to put together a little surprise for all eight girls who participated in our Wigs For Kids program, and when I put the call out to my friends in the PR world, several were quick to jump on board in support with donations for a gift bag.
The kids received the following, thanks to our generous donors:
A gift card for McDonald's Canada, with some Ronald McDonald House stickers and tattoos for several of our classes:
Attractions tickets ($30 worth) for Sportsland at Santa's Village, which offers Go-Karts, Mini-Putt, Batting Challenge, Laser Tag, Arcade, and the new Bungee Trampoline and Rock Climbing Wall.
Hair products from Splat, including Hair Chalks, Hair Extension Clips (which my girls already have in their hair!) and Washable Hair Colour, to have some fun with their new styles:
Visible Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy from Polysporin (thanks ApexPR):
A big thank you to these kind companies, and to the 8 young girls for their amazing donations. The hair is all being sent to the Wigs For Kids program at Continental Hair in Toronto, to be made into wigs for children with medical-related hair loss, and I want to give them a shout-out for their work as well.
And to you, my readers, I really appreciate all of your support too! Your emails and social media engagement with this event have meant a great deal to me and my daughters!