Throughout all of this, starting with the very first campaign in 2008, we have been so fortunate to have the support and hard work of Jody Sara and her wonderful team at Regal Hair Design. Back in the spring of 2008 as we were planning the first hair donation event, we were thrilled when she volunteered up her salon and her staff for our cause. Little did we imagine that they would become such a huge part of this year after year. That first year, the team at Regal cut and packaged up 47 ponytails and coiffed 47 heads in a little over 3 hours, leaving behind a whole bunch of ponytails ready to be made into wigs for cancer patients, and a huge set of smiling faces on the hair donors, their friends and families, and even on the staff themselves. At the end of that day, we were happy, exhausted, and completely awed by how successful the event had been.
When we decided to do it again, Jody once again jumped on board, this time bringing in additional staff just for the event so they could accommodate a greater number of people. And they did. There were more than 60 hair donors last year, which is an awful lot of ponytails to be carefully prepared, cut, styled, and packaged up for wig-making. They passed through more people in that single afternoon than they normally do on a regular workday, and they did it with patience, good humour, and grace. And, before the last of the participants for 2009 had left the parking lot, they were wanting to know if we were doing it again in 2010.
Without the hard work of the team from Regal, none of this would have been possible. We love you, Jody, Eunice, Christine, Chantal and those that came in to help you. We are so thrilled that you are on board once again for 2010. A thousand thank-yous would never be enough, so you’ll have to settle for one: thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Sharon, Catherine, Kimberly, Laura, and Colin.
If you are interested in being one of our hair donors in 2010, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get your name on the list. Space is limited, so please register early to ensure you have a spot. If you want your own stylist to do it and drop off the ponytail to us that’s an option too! Hair must be untreated and a minimum of 8 inches (20.5 cm) to donate. There are 2 simple but crucial steps on how to prepare the hair to make is a viable ponytail for wigs. The hair must be washed and dry without any products in it. It must be tied in 3 spots — top, middle, and bottom — before it is cut as loose hair cannot be used.
Add a comment March 16, 2010
Today we have a guest blogger joining us! My friend and neighbour Andrea, who usually blogs over at The Joyful Writer and Kids by Hand, talked about my girls and I a couple of weeks ago and is reposting her words here for us.
Thank you so much for having me here, and for inviting me to play a small part in Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails Campaign over the past two years. I have been so impressed by your three daughters and their generosity, and the work you have all put into the campaign. And, quite frankly, I have been absolutely amazed at how successful the campaign has been.
A little while ago I blogged about you and your daughters, and after you read it, you said to me “If I didn’t know you were talking about us, I’d would have thought wow! That’s impressive!” as if you find it hard to see how amazing it is that you and your girls have done what you have done, and that you are doing it again. I think your family has done an incredible thing, and I think people need to know that it is possible to change the world. And you don’t have to be a world leader to do it. You don’t even have to be an adult. So, with your permission, I am reposting my words here to show everyone just how incredible Catherine, Kimberly, and Laura are, and to invite them to join you in changing our world for the better.
Teaching Them to Change the World
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to teach your kids to be problem-solvers. Not necessarily world-changing problem solvers, though that would be marvelous, but even just little-problem solvers. In some areas, we are really good at this, but in others… not so much. Every family is much the same, I think. Good at creating independence in some of the little things, and in some of the big things, but somehow never quite getting to the point where we wish our kids really were. Do we expect too much? Perhaps. But perhaps we don’t expect enough.
One of the people who tops my Most-Inspirational-People-Of-All-Time list is Rachel Coleman, of Signing Time fame. She is one of those women who you can’t help but look at and say “Wow! How do you do it?” She is Mom to two beautiful girls, Leah and Lucy. She is also the co-creator of the Signing Time DVD series, inspired by her oldest daughter (who is deaf) and the need to teach sign language to kids of all ages and abilities to eliminate barriers of communication for deaf children. As if that isn’t enough, she also started the Signing Time Foundation, inspired by her younger daughter (who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair), to eliminate barriers for all children with disabilities through projects like inclusive summer camps, wheelchair accessible parks, and teaching sign language to deaf children in countries like Ghana who lack the resources to provide these children with adequate instruction. Talk about an over-achiever.
The thing that strikes me the most about Rachel Coleman is that, no matter the challenge she faces, no matter how emotionally difficult and financially straining, she not only picks herself up and carries on, she sees in it an opportunity to better the world… and reaches out with both hands to make our world a better place. Somewhere, somehow, she learned that she has the power to not only make her own life the best it can be, but that she can use what she has to make as much of the world as she can reach the best it can be, too.
How does one learn that? How do you teach that to your children?
I’ve come to believe that you learn it by trying it, and that you teach it by doing it and involving them in it. I’ve come to believe that by watching and helping another fantastic mom and her 3 daughters as they set about a small project that grew and grew and grew. In 2008, my neighbour and dear friend Sharon and her middle daughter Catherine, then 7 years old, decided to donate their hair for wigs for cancer patients. When they found out that it can take up to 12 hair donations to make a single wig, they figured they had better get a few more people involved. They started a blog and sent emails to the school, hoping to get at least enough other people making hair donations to be able to donate enough for a single wig, and maybe even more. The first blog post is humble in the extreme:
This will be a terrific mother/daughter thing for us to do, and, just maybe we can help a lot more people if we pass the word along and get other people to donate their hair at the same time.
They got enough people. Between classmates of Catherine’s, friends, neighbours, some great local companies pitching in to help, some free advertising in the community paper, and word-of-mouth, they ended up with 46 hair donations, $3,500 in monetary donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, and a whole gaggle of little girls sporting brand-new bobbed haircuts and enormous smiles.
So they did it again.
By June of 2009, they had increased their numbers to 110 hair donations and $21,546 donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. It boggles the mind. That’s one hundred and ten people, the vast majority of them little girls, some as young as 4 years old donating the very hair on their heads to someone they don’t even know and will probably never see, and they did it joyfully. And many, many more supporting them with love by showing up, cheering them on, and donating what they could in support of a good cause.
My daughter was one of the little girls in question last year.
The hair salon was absolutely overflowing with people, as was the parking lot. Everywhere you looked, people were smiling and there was this tremendous energy in the air.
And they’re doing it again in 2010.
In 2007, if you had asked me what it takes to raise world-changing children, I would have ummed and uuhhhed and told you something about meaningful teaching and exposure to opportunities and support of family and high quality schooling or some such rot. It’s all true, I suppose, but somehow I just knew that the old sawhorse “Be the change you want to see in the world” meant do little things around your home and your family as much as you can to try to be the best person you can. The Rachel Coleman’s of the world I put in a category that included “never someone ordinary like me” and “only natural born heroes with all the advantages” and other such unattainable thought processes.
Had you asked me in 2007 “Can a 7 year old girl convince more than one hundred of her friends, her family, her classmates, her neighbours, and even complete strangers to cut off their hair for cancer? Can she convince a few hundred more to donate over twenty thousand dollars to the Canadian Cancer Society?” I would have laughed and expressed extreme doubt if not outright skepticism.
I know better now.
Sharon and her daughters have shown me that even a 7 year old girl with a small idea can become a world-changer. You don’t need to be a superhero to be a world-changer. You just need to be willing to put yourself out there. People like Sharon and Rachel Coleman embody the very best of humanity’s ability to rise to any challenge and not only meet the challenge but take it further and make a lasting mark on the world in the process. In doing so, they have made a lasting mark upon their children as well. They are teaching their children to change the world by trying to change the world with their children.
And there it is.
They are teaching their children to change the world by trying to change the world with their children.
What are you doing?
Add a comment March 12, 2010
Hello everyone, and welcome to a new year for Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails Campaign! Catherine’s back, and she’s dragging her little sister along, too! We are so excited to announce that we are going ahead with a hair donation event and a fundraising campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society once again this year. Most of our wonderful sponsors are back on board, as well as some great new ones, too!
So, we have a few dates to announce, and would like to invite you and your friends and families to join us.
Monday May 3rd, 2010
We are once again co-hosting a celebrity server evening and silent auction to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society with our awesome sponsor Boston Pizza Orleans (3884 Innes Rd, Orleans). Come join us for a great meal with some local celebrities and other fun guests between 5 and 9 p.m. on Monday, May 3rd 2010. The restaurant will be donating 10% of the evening’s sales to the Canadian Cancer Society. There will also be a silent auction with all sorts of goods that have been generously donated by local businesses. We’ve done this twice before, and I have to say I have never seen a restaurant packed so full of laughing, enthusiastic friends, neighbours, and even complete strangers pulling together to fight cancer. It’s great fun, and a great meal, all for a great cause.
Sunday, May 30th 2010
The big day for donating hair is Sunday May 30th, 2010. Jody and the team at Regal Hair Design (2208 St-Joseph Blvd, Orleans) is generously offering their time and talents to cut and style your hair for free if you are donating your ponytail for wigs for cancer patients. In past years, we have been completely blown away by how many people give so selflessly the hair off their own head to help make wigs for cancer patients they have never met. In fact, we’ve gathered well over 100 ponytails over the last two campaigns, some from children as young as 4 years old.
If you are thinking of donating your hair on Sunday May 30th, we ask that you kindly send us an email to get your name on the list, as Jody and her team have only a limited number of spots on the day itself and we want to make sure you can be counted among our donors. If you prefer to have your own stylist cut your hair, you can save your ponytail and bring it to us that day to be counted in with our totals and go to make wigs for cancer patients. There are some simple but crucial steps to follow to ensure the hair has been properly prepared and can be used for wig making. We will post more information about that here soon, or you can always email us at email@example.com.
If you would like some more information, or would like to make a monetary donation to the Canadian Cancer Society, you can do that through our community website, which has a convenient link for making donations directly to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Finally, just a quick shout out to all of our incredible and generous sponsors, celebrities, silent auction donors, hair donors, and other supporters. You are amazing, we couldn’t have raised over $21,000 and collected 110 ponytails already if it weren’t for you. Just think what we’ll be able to do this year! Let’s see how far we can go!
And, keep your eye on this space for news and a few fun surprises, too. Tomorrow, we’ll have a guest blogger who has written a gorgeous article about our campaign and will be sharing it here.
Add a comment March 11, 2010
Catherine has been growing her hair since her first donation back in June 2008 and it will be long enough to do it again next year. That means there will be a Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails Campaign #3 in May or June 2010! I and her 4 year old sister are hoping that our hair will be long enough in time too! If you are in the Ottawa, Ontario area and would like to join us on the big day (date to be determined but will probably on a Sunday in June near Catherine’s birthday since this idea was originally a birthday wish to help those with cancer) you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not from the area but would like to donate anyway all the info is on the cancer.ca website under the “hair donations” section. The website will give you hair requirements, how to prepare the hair and where you can mail it to in your area. It takes UP TO 12 hair donations to make one wig for a person who has lost their hair due to cancer! Hope you can help either by donating or by telling people about hair donations. It’s something ANYONE can do, our youngest hair donor this year was only 4 years old, we had a boy and 4 men join us too!
Add a comment August 19, 2009
“Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails 2- Big sis takes over!” surpassed what I thought was possible by a long shot. Between the hair donation/fundraiser and the Boston Pizza event Kimberly and her teams’ efforts yielded $15, 988 for the Canadian Cancer Society and gathered 63 ponytails for wigs for cancer patients. The young girls/women/men and young boy who participated by donating their hair and collecting pledges were absolutely outstanding! They heard of this campaign, joined and ran with it. They managed to rank #2 in all of Ontario for on-line team fundraisers! How shocking and impressive is that?! ? The youngest hair donor was 4 years old…just goes to show that anyone can do this, no matter your age or gender! You can make a difference and it feels so good!
Between the 2 campaigns, (the original led by Catherine and this years led by big sis and in a matter of only one year from June 22nd, 2008 to June 22, 2009) there is a total of 110 ponytails for wigs and $21,546 for the Cancer Society! Who knew this idea/campaign would have reached such proportions! It hit a chord with so many! Most of the hair donors/families are going through what we are and donating hair makes you feel that you are doing something and it helps to alleviate the feeling that you can’t help your family member or friend who has cancer. It is empowering and it makes you realize that you are not alone.
Although Catherine started this with the simple words “mom, I want to donate my hair for cancer patients” she certainly did not do this on her own! There are so many people to thank! We want to thank Regal Hair Design and Boston Pizza Orleans for hosting our events. You are terrific and we couldn’t have done this without you! I bet the hair donors are glad too that I wasn’t cutting their hair! We want to thank the companies who provided the campaign with services or product like The East Orleans Star local paper for the advertising, Sure Print and Graphics for the flyers and printed material, Loeb Cumberland Market who provided all the food and food supplies, the girls school for supplying the tables, chairs, canopies and portable stage. LynneArt facepainting for turning all the hair donors into walking works of art, caricatures and clowns for entertaining the crowd, Micpo who is multi-talented and enjoyed by young and old, our local TV anchor Max for all the support and promo, also all the companies who provided silent auction prizes and our friends and family and community who have been so terrific and supportive. We really appreciate it! It means so much to our family! We feel very blessed to have so many amazing people in our life!
Add a comment July 2, 2009
The event at Boston Pizza Orleans was another huge success. We raised over $2000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. A big thank you to the owners and servers of Boston Pizza on Innes Rd. for the generous opportunity they provided and for donating 10% of all the sales that night and letting us hold a silent auction.
It was so nice to see so many friends, family members, families from the girls school and our community out to support the girls and their fight for a cure! It means so much to our family.We could not have done this without all of your help and support. Thank you all so much!
Add a comment July 2, 2009
You are all invited to come out to Boston Pizza Orleans (3884 Innes Rd., Orleans) on Monday June 22nd from 5 to 9 p.m. 10% of all the sales that night will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. There will be some special guests and a silent auction with some awesome prizes. Join us for a delicious meal and a good time all for a good cause!
Add a comment May 31, 2009
Kimberly and Catherine and the family are very pleased to announce that the hair donation and fundraiser on May 24th was a HUMOUNGOUS success. Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails 2 collected 63 hair donations and over $13,000! The team is #2 in ALL OF ONTARIO for on-line team fundraisers for the Cancer Society! These people are amazing!! They should be so proud! This will mean so much to someone who is suffering with cancer.
Here are a few interesting facts about this event…The campaign crossed the border this time..one of the donors was from Maine. The youngest donor was 4 years old! One third of the donors were adult. The rest were between the ages of 4 and 17.There were several men this year…4 to be exact and a young boy of 9 will be donating as soon as his hair reaches the 8 inches (he’s at 7 inches). This just goes to show you ANYONE can donate hair and help someone with cancer! For information on the hair requirements go to cancer.ca
If you would like to make a financial donation it is not too late. You can donate on-line to convio.cancer.ca/goto/prettyponytails2 until June 30th.
I want to thank all the hair donors for giving such a precious gift and for raising money to help families who are currently battling cancer and to find a cure. You rock! I would also like to thank the sponsors: Regal Hair Design, Boston Pizza Orleans, The Orleans Star, Sure Print and Graphics, Loeb Cumberland Market, Le Prelude, Sprint Graphics, LynneArt Face painting, Caricatures and clowns and my friends who volunteered to help out once again. Without all of you this would not be possible and we are very grateful for your help and support. It means so much to us and our family!
Add a comment May 31, 2009
Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails 2 will be in the local paper (Orleans Star) tomorrow and in the Saturday May 23rd issue of The Ottawa Citizen. The more people know about this initiative the better. There are many young people out there looking for ways to help others and this is a great way of doing just that! Anyone can do it! Our youngest hair donor this year is only 4 years old!
There are a few last minute things to be done and we are ready!!!! Kimberly is looking forward to the hair donation fundraiser event and her new hairstyle. We are now up to 43 hair donations and well over $6000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. I can’t believe what these young girls/adults are accomplishing! It is incredible! They heard of this idea joined in and are running with it….I can’t explain how amazing being involved in this feels! Can’t wait to meet all of them!
Add a comment May 18, 2009
We have another hairdresser who has volunteered to help out on May 24th. That makes 4 hairdressers! We have 35 hair donors so far 23 of which will be joining Kimberly on May 24th! Our team has raised over $6000 for the Canadian Cancer Society! The “Catherine’s Pretty Ponytails 2” team is #4 in ALL OF ONTARIO for on-line team fundraisers for the Canadian Cancer Society! I am so proud of my girls and all the wonderful people who have joined our team. We rock!!!! Congratulations to you and keep it up!!!
Add a comment May 10, 2009