Courtesy: Alexa Valladolid
If you ask a thousand people for a dollar in Boise, it turns out you make $1,000 after just asking a few hundred. After reaching my goal I had a commitment to honor. I took a seat beside five other brave souls and prepared to lose my locks. I hadn’t planned on it, but there I was bald again. The clippers stopped and I ran my hand over my head; I had forgotten how soft buzzed hair feels.
I decided to shave my head the first time after witnessing my classmates participate in the first event for St. Baldrick’s, which is a charity organization that raises donations for childhood cancer research. Instead of walking or running, participants volunteered to shave their heads in order to fundraise. Crazy right? The volunteers had different reasons for joining. The head of the program, Aubrie Gribble, decided to bring the event to campus after learning every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Like my friend Nicole did, I stopped thinking about the hair and started thinking about the people. I didn’t have a personal connection to cancer, but I knew that didn’t mean I couldn’t be an advocate. I started talking to friends with a mission to prove that bald is beautiful. That March, over $10,000 was raised for the cause and I became bald buddies with 40 other people.
Fast forward to this March, and anyone near the SUB Thursday and Friday afternoon heard my plea.
“Hi, my name is Alexa and if I raise $1,000 I will shave my head and all of the proceeds will go to childhood cancer research. So I would like to invite you to donate a dollar if you could,” I said.
I figured if I asked a thousand people for a dollar I would reach my goal. Through volunteering with the event again I realized that I didn’t have a reason not to shave my head. I’m fortunate enough to be able to choose whether or not I cut my hair, but others don’t have that option. I went to every table, stopped groups of students, and talked to professors I knew. The response was overwhelming. I chatted with a few people outside an office and all of the sudden I hear, “Did someone say St. Baldrick’s?” and a lady runs from the back room with a $20 in her hand. One person forced me to stay put while she ran to an ATM machine, some dug in pockets for all change they had, and others just raised dollar bills after hearing me talk to their neighbor. I was humbled by the generosity. I did receive many no’s, but all were respectful and still wished me luck.
More people started hearing about my goal and words and donations spread quickly. As soon as I only needed $30 it was like the end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and people were just throwing cash at me. Not actually throwing, but close enough. It was a pretty humbling experience.
During the event we had some rain, but we didn’t let that stop us from shaving 46 heads. We started with stories of the battle cancer had in the lives of loved ones. Tears were shed, but hugs went all around. Today as I walk around campus, not only do I stand with my 45 fellow shavees, but we stand in solidarity with those fighting cancer. I believe that one of the greatest powers of a human is to support the cause of another and want to thank all of the people contributed, whether it was donations or time.
We are still trying to reach our goal of $15,000 and would like to invite anyone willing, to donate $1. Donations can be given by going to Stbaldricks.org and searching for BSU housing. Just as $1 can make a difference, one person can make a difference. If you see any shaved heads around campus, ask us why we are bald and we will be happy to tell you about the people we support.