May 11, 2022
My heart grew like the grinch this past month. I gotta be honest though… I wasn’t always into this ‘giving back’ thing. I used to be a pretty selfish person. I valued my time, energy, & was too cheap to see the value in helping others. I’ll admit it. I was also young, immature, and truly just didn’t see the world through other’s eyes. It was difficult for me to see things from other’s perspective. Then I met Tom. He has the biggest heart and is the most giving person I have ever met. I have learned, and seen, from him the more you give, the more you get. Not necessarily monetarily. I had to learn that in my own way.
The first time I sponsored something I had been open about 4 months. I started Heaven from complete scratch. We had a handful of clients & one employee who worked 8 hours a week. We didn’t even have enough dirty towels to do one load a day. (Now we do 10!) I could not afford to pay myself for the first 2 years. I worked every day, every single hour we were open. FOR FREE. I had to, I had no choice. It was my dream, passion, & vision that pushed me every day. I tell you this not for pity, but for you to understand where I started. So when someone asked me to sponsor something for $100….. that was A LOT OF FREAKING MONEY.
Tom basically made me sponsor whatever this thing was & said I should do it. Not to get my name on a T-shirt, but because it would help the kid reach their goal. I rolled my eyes and obliged. However, I was only thinking of how I could use that $100 myself. I had only $32 in my checking account, but I took the money out of the drawer.
When the kid came in to pick it up, I handed it over & smiled. He was so happy I had helped him out & there it started. I decided then that is what my salon’s mission would be. “Passionately giving back to our community as much as possible.” Also I think having a NICU baby helped me be more selfless. He wasn’t premature, Lord no, he was born missing his esophagus and it went undetected. So I knew God had given me this gift to help me see the world in a different and new perspective.
My next big sponsorship was a baseball team. I didn’t think it was a big deal until someone told me, “ You know there are so many bigger companies in this area that don’t do this, and they can afford it much more easily than you. Don’t underestimate what you are doing and how big this is.” I literally said: HUH??! I didn’t really think about it. I rolled my eyes when I had to write the check, I won’t lie. All I could think about was my $2K in credit card debt I owed. However, when this person told me that I really stepped back & looked at the bigger picture. It’s not about me. I realized then that the more I give, the more I get in return. Not clients, not money, not notoriety. I thought it was epic. Tom also helped me to see how much the small things have a huge impact. He created his own sponsorship at his high school & gifts a kid $1k towards their future. I love him…..
So I could go on about how many things I/we have done but this blog post is not about that. I just had to tell you a little bit about how this began. So fast forward to this spring…. we had learned a very close friend of Tom’s, whom he considers family, had a granddaughter diagnosed with Leukemia. We both started tearing up when we heard the news. This is so unfair to a 10 year old. How could God do this??! Once we heard she lost her hair, Tom instantly decided to buy her a wig. So I purchased one of the best wigs my salon sells & we gifted it to her. One of my staff & I went to her house and we fit her for it, showed her how to put it on. Hopefully we boosted her spirits.
When I saw her I didn’t realize how weak she was, and how much help she needed. This family is not a charity case, and they are not in dire need. However when one parent has to leave their job to care for a child. Not only does it cause stress, anxiety, and guilt. But who has the energy for that?! I knew that day they needed help. They needed a boost. Financially, spiritually, emotionally. I came home and told Tom we should do something for them. He agreed, but when would we have the time? We were/are planning our wedding & running our own businesses. Also we were really struggling with our son still choking on his food due to his narrow esophagus & we determined another surgery was needed. Then we found out in the thick of it all our landlord was going to put our house on the market. We have lived here for 3.5 years, and we were not in the mindset to move or buy anything. Welp! Here we go! This all happened around the same time. I called my mom so upset, telling her everything going on in my life and she told me to count my blessings and God doesn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle. Around the same time we learned Izzy was allergic to her chemo, so treatment was tough for her. That meant any alternative would be costly & difficult. I came up to bed crying about Christian needing surgery (again!), our house dilemma, business problems, and everything else in life. Then Tom told me about Izzy and I looked at him and said “We have to do something.”
We decided to use our businesses at platforms to put the benefit of a lifetime on. Tom & I don’t do anything small. We roll with the motto; Go big or go home. If we are gonna do something we do it right. We decided to hold it at a nearby manufacturing facility so we would have more parking & a bigger yard. I’ve always been the one to donate to auctions, raffles, and giveaways. I’ve never had to be on the receiving end of asking for help. So at first it was a big snowball to get moving. Then they just started rolling in. Everyone donated to our raffle. People even donated money to our food truck to put towards the cost of the food! They were able to donate everything that night, a little over $1K. We rented outdoor yard games, put up an outdoor theater to watch a movie, and we even had a lemonade stand with goodies. My staff put in orange hair extensions, and did face painting! This was just the beginning. The best part of the whole day was Izzy. She was physically able to show up & have fun. It was the greatest feeing I ever ever felt.
Okay, second. She played the yard games, laughed, ATE (which is HUGE!), and ran around having the time of her life. Her mom told me she got to feel like a normal 10 year old girl for the first time in a very long time. I was elated. My heart swelled. I loved seeing her happy. Christian, my 19 month old, chased her in her wheelchair laughing his butt off. It was such a perfect day. The sun was out, the wind died down, and no rain in sight. God had blessed us with the perfect weather.
I know there are a plethora of salons in Chesire County, so I don’t take it for granted when you choose to spend money in my store. I use the profits to actively give back, as much as I can, like we did for Izzy.
All of this to simply say: THANK YOU!