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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's not about the hair

When I told my family about my offer to dye my hair blue to help make a sick little girl's wish come true, my 14 year old daughter wanted to know "WHY?"

It's a valid question and one I've been thinking about. I know one thing. It's not about the hair. It's not about being eccentric or controversial or talked about. It is about stepping outside of myself and doing something good. It's not about the hair and it's not about me.

If you make your way around the blogosphere much, you might have seen that there's a push this month for the 30 Day Giving Challenge. I thought about doing that. I kind of feel like I've been revolving around my own little planet lately and I need to stretch myself.

But honestly, the thought of intentional giving for 30 days and of blogging about it for 30 days seemed overwhelming and exhausting. Lame, I'm sure. It's not that I'm not a nice person or that I am a stranger to generosity. I just didn't want to start something I couldn't finish.

Then I saw that my friend Leilan had volunteered to shave his head if people donated $1,000 to a 3-year-old's Make a Wish fund. He reached the $1,000 pretty easily, primarily through promotion via Facebook and Twitter.

I wondered what would the next incentive be to keep Kamylle's fund growing. So I, without much thought, offered up that for $2,500 in donations, I would dye my hair blue.

And then I got scared.

What was I thinking? So I quickly dashed off an e-mail to the organizer saying I needed a little time to think about it. Except...

He didn't get the message. And the next thing I knew my offer was out there -- on his blog, on Twitter -- and someone else had joined in and offered to do the same. I'm not quite sure, but I think that the threshhold is even a bit lower than I'd said. (I was shooting for $2,500 MORE. The countdown is going for $2,500 total.)

I could have said "Whoa!" I could have backed out. But I chose to go with it for three fairly simple reasons:
  1. I said I would. I think keeping my word is important.
  2. I don't know this little girl. I have no investment in her happiness. Her parents are not friends of mine. I've never even met her. But doing something for someone completely outside my own circle feels right to me -- like a perfect way to get out of my own orbit.
  3. I'm scared. I donate to charity. I make meals for church members who are sick or who've had a new baby. I give a piece of each paycheck to United Way. I'm comfortable with those things. But this is way out of my comfort zone. Oh, I've talked a good game about blue hair, but I think I thought it was always in the realm of talk. Not anymore. The commitment to giving something of myself in a way that makes me feel a little uncomfortable makes me feel like this is something I really need to do. 
As of right now, Kamylle's Wish Fund is at $1,640.30. Thank you to those of you who have contributed. If you haven't made a contribution yet and are in a position to do so -- even $5 -- please. Do it for Kamylle, the 3-year-old with acute myeloid leukemia. It's about her. It's not about the hair. 


Beth Zimmerman said...

And when the time comes you will look awesome with blue hair! And then you can check it off the bucket list!

Michelle said...

Amy, what if you didn't dye your WHOLE head blue? What about having a stylist dye the layers underneath dark blue? Or a few blue highlights? To me, the joy is helping a little girl be a making it fun along the way is just brownie points. :)

Keli McCullough Ulferts (BU DG Sis) said...

Hi Amy. So what if your hair is blue for awhile? You can dye it back to brown. Easy. Have a few Tshirts printed that explain what's going on with your hair and wear them every day. Or wear one of those big pin-on buttons with an explanation. And have a few hats/berets/ scarves on hand to wear when you need a break from blueness. You are a star!

Unknown said...

Go Amy! Can't wait to see you in blue! It is easy to give money. It's harder to commit to giving of yourself and follow through. You rock!

Sheri in CA