AMA Hair for Care - To all those shedding their locks, I salute you!

Our 1st annual Hair for Care fundraising event is happening tomorrow at our karate studio and I woke up this morning thinking about the amazing students and instructors we have participating for this cause.

Our motivation for raising money was the fact that when we moved into this town, the community hospital was overworked and you could tell. Wait times were very high and it was hard to trust anything you were told because the exhaustion dripped off each nurse, doctor or care aid you met. We were one of the many families disgruntled and I dare say a little entitled when we had to travel into that hospital. I say that now, because since the new building went up a few years ago, in my opinion, things have gotten so much better. I noticed that with the new walls and obvious staff increase it seemed that care changed and was so much better.

It was obvious that the community growth had overtaken the old hospital’s ability to give great care and the poor personnel inside were largely criticized and treated poorly when they themselves were suffocating.

I came to learn that the government funding only really covers the cost of bricks and mortar and perhaps some key staff members. The rest is reliant upon the community support. Did you know that? I didn’t.

I was shocked, and well …..very guilty feeling. As a former RN I know what it is like to work long hours and sacrifice myself for the ill. It’s a calling. We do it because we want to, but by the same token, those staff members, those doctor’s, nurses and all the support staff are people and they deserve to work in a strong , supported environment. I ignorantly thought that a properly functioning hospital was someone else’s responsibility. Like…who? I don’t know…I just figured it wasn’t mine.

Well all that has changed. It is mine. It is yours to, in your community a hospital pulsates either with life or with death. The hospital is the heartbeat. It is those folks who keep us alive when we need it and maybe we never will, but I believe it is still our duty to give back and raise funds to keep that pumping heart alive and well for the greater good of our community.

So we as a small business decided to commit to raise $25,000.00 for our hospital over the course of 5 years and tomorrow our 1st big event happens.

AMA Hair for Care - raising money for Milton District Hospital Foundation

Our Hair for Care event holds a special place in my heart. I shaved my head back in 2011 & in 2007 I cut a 13” braid to donate to a wig making company for patients in need. My participation was to help our sister schools raise funds for their local hospitals. I remember very vividly the experience. Both were very impact-full. Most of you reading this would never part with your hair. Hair is sacred and personal and we identify so much of ourselves by our hair and it takes a great deal of courage to cut it off.

The decision to shave your head for charity should always be approached with humility and respect. After-all to make a huge deal about a well person making the choice to shave their head for a cause can never be compared with a person who was not given a choice to keep their hair due to Cancer treatment or other illnesses. We are very respectful and focus on the great loss that is felt when we no longer have our hair and it is this place of reflection that our students and instructors are coming from.

I salute all our AMA participants for having the courage to step up and sacrifice so much for their community hospital. It is not a small thing. The ripple effect is amazing after such a good deed, however, the discomfort and awkwardness afterwards will be felt by each of them for quite a while and in their own unique way. Each of them has a secondary reason for shaving or cutting their hair. Each is overcoming something within them; stepping outside their comfort zone for growth or they wish this to be a symbol of their journey to black belt and how they have completely transformed from who they were when they walked into our dojo, to who they have grown to be now. The decisions to shave or cut are not frivolous or attention seeking, they are deep and heartfelt and truly a testament to the character of who these people really are inside.

I salute them and I am honored that they follow in our footsteps. My husband is participating in voluntary head shaving for a 3rd time too and I commend him for leading by example!

I know that what I learned and who I became after my own experience of head shaving and braid cutting is something that I could never teach in a dojo.

A message for the people shedding their hair tomorrow, in one way or another, you will be stepping into the unknown and feeling the growth that can never be taught… only experienced. Remember to reflect on this.

To all of you who have shaved your beards already for the fundraiser or will be shaving your beards this applies to you as well. I understand the deep importance of the beard and know that you are in for a ride afterwards too! Well done!

Congratulations to ALL for venturing into the unknown with only yourself to guide you and thank you for your sacrifice and effort to support this great fundraising event.

Remember the quote below in your journey afterwards when you feel odd:

“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new” ~ Brian Tracy

May you never stop growing and learning!

~Sensei J.

If you wish to support our efforts please click the link and accept our heartfelt thanks!

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