Posted in Festivals/Special Events, Home Town, It's Artistic/Creative, Random Acts of Kindness, State of Mind

#347 Get a Tattoo

I had thought about getting a tattoo on and off through the years. I couldn’t decide on what it would be or where I would have it. I knew it had to be something I wouldn’t regret or get tired of after a few years. I would look at tattoos of things I liked, teddy bears, turtles, ladybugs, and Celtic knot designs. Plus, there was the whole being stabbed with a needle. I get light headed just seeing a needle for blood work. Of course that could be the blood part. So, I would look at tattoos but not really plan for getting one myself.

A couple of years ago, as I was looking online, I came across this Wild Bills Tattoo place located in Roseville, California. There was information on a day that they would host a tattoo-a-thon and 100% of the cost of the tattoo would go to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. I thought to myself, “Well if I do get a tattoo that is when I will do it and then I can say I got tattooed for the kids”. It was an awesome find. I put it in my calendar to remind myself about the tattoo-a-thon each February.

I think it took me another couple of years to work up the nerve to go for it and get that tattoo. In 2016, I decided on getting a shamrock (because I’m part Irish, and it’s for luck, and it’s cute) and started looking at different photos online to see what kind of design I wanted and where. I found a cute one where it was just an outline and the leaves also looked a bit like a heart, and it was on the wrist. I really liked that idea, then I would be able to see it. I showed my mom and told here I wanted to get this one but not to worry, it would be small. She liked it be was iffy that I would go through with it from seeing the needles and getting poked. I made my appointment for early that Saturday morning.

A friend said she would come with and check it out. She was thinking about getting a tattoo and wanted to see. We got to the place and had to wait a bit for one of the artists. When one came over, I showed him the photo of the shamrock tattoo I wanted and that it’d be a small one on the inside of my wrist. He said okay and went to sketch the design on the transfer paper. That was something I hadn’t realized they did but totally makes sense. That took a while and then he came back and we grabbed seats. Luckily it was near the waiting area and my friend could sit and watch.

The artist told me to relax my wrist and warned me that doing it there, my fingers might twitch. Whoah! What? I hadn’t thought about that, but with the nerves being right there. Something else to get nervous about. How much twitching would they do? Deep breath. He transferred the design on the wrist. It was a little larger then I was thinking, but didn’t look too bad. I had told him I wanted it in green, he suggested doing a green and black coloring. I figured he knew what he was talking about and said sure. He placed the needle over my wrist and started the process. It went up and down so fast that at times felt like it was slicing me like a knife. That is when I realized, tattooing is basically have people stab you on purpose and scar you. Usually we try not to leave scars if we get cut. hmmm.

It felt so uncomfortable, but so glad he was was fast, and that I got a simple enough design, that it was over pretty fast. My friend got a photo that perfectly summed up what I was feeling. I am glad she got it while I was getting tattooed. The artist finished up and went over the care for instructions and I was done. He told me what the cost of that size tattoo would be and I wrote a check for a little more for the donation to the hospital. Then got a sticker that said “I got tattooed for the kids”. I really wanted that sticker.

A friend that lived nearby messaged us to come over for brunch, so we did. We said there almost all day, just chatting away. Hope she didn’t mind. I waited until the tattoo was healed and took a photo to show it off while wine tasting at a winery. I think it turned out cute. Took a while to get used to the fact I have something permanent on my arm.

I don’t know if I will get anymore. I have thought about it now that it’s been some time. But then I look at that photo above of when I was getting this one and remember. I am not closing the door, but I am happy with this one.

Did it take a while for you to get a tattoo? Have you done someone like this where the money is for a benefit for children?

 

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Posted in Generic Ones, Gift Giving, Random Acts of Kindness, Volunteering

#869 Grow Long Hair

& Donate to Wigs For Kids

I can check off 2 items for this one “Grow Long Hair” and “Donate to…”

Back in 2013 a friend mentioned she was going to start growing out her hair and donate to Locks of Love. I thought, why not do that too!! When I mentioned it to my hair stylist, she told me to look at other organizations that create wigs for children. People assume the wigs they make and give to kids are free. It’s not true. Plus, it is mostly for children that suffer alopecia areata (a type of hair loss). Not to say that is not also important to give wigs to kids that have that, but I was thinking of donating toward a wig for a child that has to deal with cancer (or wider range of reasons a child lost their hair). Researching more, I found they use a sliding fee based on parent’s income. And even though they accept at least 10 inches of pretty much any type of hair (even dyed), they don’t use all of it. Some they sell off. Maybe to help keep costs of making the wigs down, but that was still unclear to me.

I was disillusioned with Locks of Love and started looking for other organizations that fit more with what I wanted my hair to be donated for. I came across Wigs for Kids. “For children who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, Alopecia, Trichotillomania, burns and other medical issues at no cost to children or their families.” And as far as I can tell, they work to make the wigs complimentary to children.

Side note: I saw on the Wigs for Kids website they have a Girl Scout patch for donating. Where was that when I was a Scout? Would have been fun to earn.

The requirements for Wigs for Kids is at least 12 inches and no chemical treatment to the hair. I figured I can do this challenge and let my hair grow long. It had been quite a challenge for me. I usually keep my hair chin length and anytime it starts to touch my shoulders I chop it off. It’s also quite thick, so when I do the chop, I can feel the weight come off my head. I’ve liked to dye it a reddish color. Growing up it stayed a light brown due to me swimming year round. When I stopped swimming, it went back to my natural color which is a very dark brown and I was very much not used to that. Friends even asked if I dyed my hair.

It took about 4 years to grow, and as soon as I could, I chopped it off as part of a birthday treat for myself. I got it layered and colored.

The back ponytail reached 12 inches but the other ponytails were a tad short. Plan B, donate that one ponytail to Wigs for Kids and the rest to PanteneBeautiful Lengths program. They provide free wigs for women battling cancer. Their requirements were at least 8 inches and color free. Done!!

It was fun to grow out my hair to see how it looked and felt. People said long hair looks good on me. I might grow it out long again but this time style it more than just an even cut and see how that looks. And down the road, I might donate it again. I hope that little bit of hair will help add to making a wig for a child and a woman and bring a smile to their faces.

Have you donated your hair? What organization and how was your experience?

Posted in Gift Giving, Home Town, Random Acts of Kindness, Volunteering

Help Christmas Promise Fulfill Wishes

During Christmas time, lots of people turn out to help make sure others get to celebrate some during the holiday season. People that truly need a break from their problems and struggles and have a moment to cherish.

The Active 20-30 club of Greater Sacramento #1032 I am a member, raises money to help different charities throughout the year. One organization we had set aside money for is called Christmas Promise. 2010 was the first year I was able to sign up to help wrap gifts as well as shop for presents for a family that probably would not have a Christmas if not for this organization. What is Christmas Promise?

Here is a little bit I found that explains it very well: “Christmas Promise is an organization that sends “Santa Claus” to approximately 250 families. Each year teachers, church organizations, and social workers forward “letters to Santa” from disadvantaged children. Christmas Promise fulfills the wishes of these children by sending Santa to the home of the children on Christmas Eve.”

They have been doing this for over 70 years! On the first day of December you can go to their wall where they post these letters sent in and “adopt” a family to shop for. My Active 20-30 club was able to “adopt” and shop for about 38 people. We also volunteered one day/evening to help wrap gifts and other essentials for these families.

Even though I won’t see the family I shopped or wrapped up presents for, open their gifts, it really was touching to read these letters and see how much people did donate toward these families and to help make sure they have a reason to be able to celebrate on Christmas Day.

I would encourage you to do something similar next Christmas.

***They had to shut this down for a couple of years, but it’s being reorganized and hopefully can get up and running again next year (2018)****

Posted in Generic Ones, Gift Giving, Learning Lessons/Research Discoveries, Random Acts of Kindness, State of Mind, Super Duper Easy

Be on a Bone Marrow Registry

Gotta tell you, sometimes I feel like I’m a dog who gets distracted by squirrels, food, and toys, when finding out about some amazing charities. Ones like Active 20-30 Club, Comfort Cases, Girls on the Run, and 916 Ink are JUST A FEW of the ones I love to keep an eye on and see how I might help. And I keep coming across neat non-profits all the time.

Recently heard a story on the national Nightly News about a guy taking a break from college to help his best friend whose cancer returned, and crossing things off his bucketlist. (right here in Citrus Heights, California) They had also created a non-profit called, Gamer’s Gift, that high schoolers run, whose goal it is to help different groups, such as kids in hospitals and seniors, anyone with restricted movements and promote well-being and positive spirits through the use of video games and other electronic media.

NOW, the story of these 2 friends mainly caught I ear because of the bucketlist, I love hearing and reading them. I wanted to see if they had a blog or something where they were posting about their adventures. Sure, enough they are on a few sites. Find, One List, One Life on Facebook.

The biggest reason I am writing about this is because of how much they encourage people to sign up to be on the bone marrow registry. I am already registered as an organ donor. Being on the bone marrow list scares me a little. The more I was thinking about it, the more I realized that is kind of silly. My being scared of needles, prevented me from going and donating blood for a long time. I was fine once I finally worked up my nerve to go try. I am still nervous and can’t watch the needle being inserted or look at the blood because I’d probably faint. But I have gone a couple of times now.

I decided to go ahead and sign up, get that cheek swab kit, send it back, and see what happens. I am a healthy person right now, if I can be a match and help someone, why not do so? It will take a little bit to work up my nerve to help if I get a call, because I know that probably means more needles. I just need to remind myself, I’m fine and I’d like someone else to be fine too and this is one way I can help.

You can sign up here

Posted in Generic Ones, Gift Giving, Random Acts of Kindness, State of Mind, Super Duper Easy

#1348 Donate Blood

Lost Some of My Blood For A Good Cause!

Yesterday was my very first time donating blood and I am very proud of having done it. You might be asking why this is such a big deal, the answer is because it scares me alot. When I’ve heard of people donating blood in the past, I thought, oh good for them, no way would I do that.

As I came across more and more chances, I pondered and debated and became more and more tempted. When I got this most recent opportunity and I knew I couldn’t pass it up and at least go for the experience. As well as helping to save a life.

Got signed up for any appointment and as it got closer to the time I needed to be there, I was very close to backing out. But I decided to suck it up and go. I was very much hoping that they would end up telling me thanks for trying but we can’t use your blood. (because it would be anemic, i’d be to dehydrated for them to get to the veins, my veins would just not pop up, or the fact that I traveled out of the country the last 3 years would cause my blood to not be okay for use right then) They gave me the all clear after the initial questions and tests.

DARN IT. I would have to really do this. I know I was having a little panic attack. I didn’t want to have a needle be stuck in me and I REALLY didn’t want to see any blood. I have no idea why I should be panicking about it. You lay down, hold out your arm and they do all the work really. You just are there to give up a pint of blood in a pretty comfortable way.

It’s a good thing those nurses are funny and easy to talk to. I might have sat down and then jumped up and said, nope can’t do this. I felt that pinch and stayed still. When it was done, I went to the front of the bus and enjoyed some goldfish as I crossed my fingers I wouldn’t faint. There was a couple of times I was younger and went with my mom and sis, my mom went to get blood drawn. My sis watched, I didn’t. But I still got light headed and very white as we walked out. Enough so that I had to quickly sit down for a few minutes. And that was what I was worried would happen here. But I sat and listened to the them joke to the 2 guys getting their blood drawn out.

I asked for a photo and they offered to have me hold a bag of blood. I declined on that part. I know it’s much needed but I don’t know if I could do this again. I would have to pump myself up and keep repeating, it’s okay, there’s nothing to it. It is only about 20 minutes of your time, so if you can do it, i’d suggest you do and help those that need it.

Have you donated?