Donate what you have to give

Published 9:57 pm Saturday, August 4, 2018

I’m far less of a woman now than I was a couple of weeks ago. At least as far as my hair is concerned.

This is the third time I’ve chopped off a large amount of hair. The first was right after I graduated from college (and therefore didn’t have to care what my dad thought of it anymore). The second was in 2010, when I cut off an 18-inch braid for donation. My hair fell about to my stomach then.

Except for getting a few inches trimmed for my wedding in 2015, I’ve been growing it since then. It had grown past my rear, and I was tired of it.

Email newsletter signup

I was tired of using an entire palm full of shampoo to cover my hair with lather. I was tired of spending five minutes brushing it out after I got out of the shower (yes, I used conditioner!). I was tired of broken hair ties. I was tired of not being able to ride with the windows down or get in the water without getting my hair hopelessly tangled, even if I had put it up.

So, a couple weekends ago, I chopped it all off. It was so long even the stylist wanted to take before-and-after photos, and I’m sure she’s seen some long hair in her line of work.

The end result? A 29-inch ponytail and a much cooler haircut.

I mailed my first two donations to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for children with permanent hair loss. But I think I’ll send this one to the Pantene Foundation, which makes wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment.

The way I see it, I’m going to get my hair cut at some point, anyway. I may as well grow it all out, do it all at once and help someone else.

It’s kind of the same concept with donating blood. If you’re eligible to give blood, why wouldn’t you? It helps other people, and your body is producing it anyway.

Helping other people is always fun, but this summer you’ll get a $5 Amazon gift card for it, too, if you donate blood.

There is an emergency shortage of blood, and as of last week there was a less than five-day blood supply on hand. There is a particular need for Type O blood, which plays an important role in emergencies. Type O negative is the universal donor and can be given to any patient, so it’s what gets transfused to patients in serious condition when there’s no time to determine their blood type.

There is such a need for blood that all those who donate through Aug. 30 will get that $5 Amazon gift card through email.

It doesn’t have to be blood or hair. There are others out there in need of the very thing you can donate, whether it’s your talent, your volunteerism or your money. Just remember to help however you can.