Wednesday

Headbands of Hope and giveaway!

I would love to introduce you all to Jessica Ekstrom. She is doing something amazing, and I want to help her. She is a senior at North Carolina State University studying communications. She launched Headbands of Hope in April 2012 during her junior year. Since then, her company has been featured on the TODAY Show and TOMS Shoes Blog. Jessica is providing us 3 headbands for a giveaway. 

Please enjoy this guest post by Jessica.

Almost everyone can think of a moment where they knew their life was about to change. For me, my moment was right before my 20th birthday in the summer of 2011. I began my internship at the Make-a-Wish Foundation that I can confidently say, changed my life forever.
Everyday, I got to wake up and grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. I took day trips to visit the wish kids at their houses and bring them their favorite toys. We received hundreds of letters from wish children that said we changed their lives; little did they know, they were changing mine.
I thought about the thousands of girls around the world losing their hair to chemotherapy. Being a young girl presents many struggles with self-esteem already and losing their hair as a result of a life-threatening illness is traumatic.
For girls and women everywhere, their hair is a part of their feminine identity. Wigs can be uncomfortable and unappealing, especially to younger girls.

I realized that headbands are the perfect way for these girls to keep their feminine identity and have a constant reminder that they're not alone. Therefore, I started HeadbandsOfHope.org.

For every headband purchased, one headband will go to a girl with cancer and $1 will be donated to the St. Baldrick's Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.

Since I launched in May of this year, I've sold thousands of headbands online and in stores around the nation. I created a company where I didn't have to choose between making a living and making a difference. I can wake up and do both at the same time.

I’ve had the opportunity to distribute headbands to girls in the hospitals across the nation. The best part of my job is opening the door to their room and seeing their faces light up when I bring dozens of colorful headbands to their beds to choose from.

Even though it’s fun and fulfilling to bring the girls headbands in the hospitals, I’m constantly reminded that there still isn’t a cure.

Childhood cancer takes the lives of more children in the U.S. than any other disease - in fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined. 

Children with cancer cannot be treated simply as "smaller adults." The cancers strike kids differently and they are in a crucial stage of development, which complicates the effects of treatments and can result in life-long complications.

Progress is also especially slow in curing adolescents and young adults, because federal funding for childhood cancers is a fraction compared to adult cancers. 

Therefore, attention needs to be brought to childhood cancer. Progress can't be made without research. Research can't be done without funding. And funding can't be done without awareness.


Headbands of Hope aims to start with awareness and end with a cure. Together, we can spread hope in all girls…one headband at a time.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Headbands of Hope provided me with a headband and a tshirt. All opinions are my own.

29 comments:

  1. I helped some lady load dogfood in her car today because she was struggling with 2 little ones and I happened to be there without my kids today!

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  2. I went out of my way to tell an internal client`s supervisor how much she had helped me with a project. janice@fitnesscheerleader.com

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  3. On Monday we delivered Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins (homemade Sunday with blueberries from our yard) to a sweet elderly couple that lives down the road from us. We met them last week I was running & Abigail (4yo) rode her bike. They were so sweet and Abigail told them all about the blueberries in our yard. They were so surprised when we followed through with the promise of returning with muffins. (For the recipe... http://mrscrashmattb.blogspot.com/2013/06/abigails-blueberry-white-chocolate-chip.html)

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  4. A friend of mine was having a bad day so I brought her a coffee to work from Starbucks. I know when I am having a rough day, that having a special treat like that is one way to turn the day around :-)

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  5. I helped our church's childcare worker get her children to her car (two under two) She really appreciated it. =)

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  6. I was leaving work late and a guy in the parking lot couldn't start his car so I stayed and gave him a jump.

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  7. What a beautiful story. Helping others is so important. This is something we strive to do daily in our house. God put me in a situation where one of my students needed help. I told her parents I thought she had an inner ear infection because she kept falling and I was afraid she'd hit her head. They took her to the doctor and he ran some tests. The girl who is now 10 (was 8 at the time) had a benign brain tumor putting pressure on her muscle control portion of her brain. With this discovery they were able to put her on proper medication and even though she still has the tumor and does have seizuers, it was caught before causing any serious damages. That is God at work!

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  8. While I was walking out of Walmart a women's bag fell over, and I helped pick up her groceries.

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  9. When I was 3, I just started growing hair. Because I was bald for so long, my grandmother knitted a headband for me with fake braids coming down. One in brown and one in yellow (I have never been blonde since!) When I was 4 we moved to a new city, and the first time we went to Synagogue I met Shelly. She was a year younger than me but much tinier because she had just battled cancer. She took off her wig and showed me her bald head. That's when I decided my tiny halo of dark curls was good enough, and gave my knitted braids to Shelly. We lost track after 3rd grade, but found each other again on Facebook - and now we're both moms. Which essentially means her health has come full circle :)

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    Replies
    1. That is a beautiful story!!! This company is really special! Thanks Raffi! <3

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  10. I am so happy to have heard about this company! Will spread the word.

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  11. Thanks for sharing Jessica's story. What an amazing young, selfless woman. She is an inspiration to us all to be kinder and give back to our community.

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  12. I ran a race with a young girl to keep her motivated & company as well.

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  13. What an amazing entreprenuerial relationship! I love that it benefits a cause!

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  14. We helped do yard work for our pastor who has recently had surgery. It was so much fun! It was several families helping out. The little kids were sweeping the driveway while the adults used the machines. Leah Frazier

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