On Saturday 16th December I got up early and diffused my curly mane for what would be the last time in a long time. The idea was to leave early and pounce on Christmas shoppers in my local shopping centre. By the time the whole crew left it was almost midday. We are not morning people! We were all sporting our sexy Habitat for Humanity tshirts and made sure the last of the stuff was in the car. Posters..check. Leaflets…check. Collecting tins…check. My mind felt like a sieve as tends to happen when you’re trying to focus and end up concentrating on…concentrating, and forget what you are meant to be doing.
After collecting our permit we set up the scene with a chair and posters and then took up position in designated locations, coin collecting tins in hand. If it sounds like a military operation thats because it was. Alison at The Exchange had let us know the best places to collect such as right near the car park pay machines. I kept on thinking that I’d forgotten something cos normally I’m so last minute but for once I had everything sorted.
We tried to strike a balance between too timid and too intimidating, gently asking people if they could spare some change. We had competition in the form of the Salvation Army and the local fire service. We collected up until about quarter to three also giving out leaflets on the charity’s work and about the event itself (that the nice ladies at the Exchange had printed for me). Just before 3 I went up to prepare for my headshave. At this point I really felt nervous, partly because of the thought of being on show, partly cos of the impending hair loss. We heard that the tannoy had stopped working and that made me feel more nervous because I wanted people to know about what was going on. Then the tannoy began to work at the last minute (we only knew of this when I could hear a booming sound overhead that sounded strangely like my mum).
The hairdressers came down and set to work. They put my hair into little ponytails and snipped them off while everyone around was counting down to zero. Then the clippers came out. By that stage I was rather relaxed what with lots of people to chat to. It was quite a nice sensation which would explain the look of bliss that I have in some of the photos. Morgan and Efe’s faces were priceless, I’d estimate they watched about 5% and spent the rest of the time with their eyes closed, haha.
At the end there was a round of applause and I got up and did a mock bow. It was good that I had a captive audience, but I was overwhelmed by the people who came up afterward who were so encouraging.
We collected for a couple of hours after as well. I kept my tshirt on which still had my hair all over it. You get to meet all sorts collecting and for every rude person there is an extremely lovely person too. At this stage we had all sorts of catchphrases my favourite being “Don’t be greedy give to the needy”…
Our feets aching and coin tins brimming, we headed home. We spent the evening counting out the change and were amazed that we raised over £600 in a matter of hours.
Everyone kept on doing a doubletake when I came in the room, and I did the same to myself in the mirror. It’s still a bit weird to look at myself, and not go to grab the hairbrush/dryer/mousse!
But who wouldn’t love a no maintenance hairdo and half an hour longer in bed?