|This is Raelyn. Can you help me help her hear?|
Every now and then I get a brilliant idea. I'll be honest. It doesn't happen all that often, so it's worth paying close attention when it does happen. This morning was one of those moments when my light bulb came on and I got an idea so brilliant that I haven't been able to sit still since. I'm bound and determined to make this come to fruition.
Liam has a little girl in his class that is kind of his bestie. She's a tiny little thing full of spunk and spirit. She tells him where to go and how to get there and he actually listens. They love to play and giggle together. They find ways to keep their teacher on her toes all the time. My favorite is watching them hug each other every time they get together. For as little as they are, they have a sweet friendship like no other. This little girl is truly a treasure to Liam and I, for one, think she is about the CUTEST thing on two feet.
His little friend has always worn hearing aids. Her mom is a pro at making sure her cute little purple aids always have color coordinated ear molds that are about as girly as possible. Shortly before school let out last spring, the unthinkable happened. She lost more hearing. A lot more hearing. Having been there and done that, I know how heartbreaking that is for a parent to watch and it was no different for her family than it was for mine. The only resource left for her is a cochlear implant. This seems nice and easy and her sweet parents finally made the difficult decision to implant her and then the worst case scenario happened: their insurance doesn't cover implants because they're "cosmetic".
This is where my brilliant idea comes in. This situation has been weighing on my mind for a while because I know what it's like to want desperately to give your child something she NEEDS, but you can't because money stands in the way. I was in the shower this morning when the answer finally came to me. Her mom is a hair dresser, and a very good one at that. In my mind, I can see this amazing event that I'm going to call "Shearing for Hearing". She is going to get as many of her hair dressing friends as she can, and I'm going to work on getting some more on top of that. I'm talking I want an ARMY of hair stylists to be on hand for the loooooong line of hairy people needing to be cleaned up.
My plan is to offer haircuts for $10 donations per head. Of course, customers can donate more (far more) if they'd like. I'm looking at an outside venue like possibly the parking lot of our HOA clubhouse. (We're waiting on the trustees to approve it and then we can move forward.) We'll only offer cuts and no styling or coloring this time. While people wait, we'll have a clown that does balloon animals, hopefully a bounce house (I'm looking for someone to donate one or tell me how to find a fairly cheap rental), and a dunking booth. Since our clubhouse is full of residents who have children who all go to the same school, my plan is to beg and plead with the school principal, music teacher, maybe even the school nurses, and the two most popular 5th grade teachers ever to come sit in the booth. Who doesn't want to soak their favorite educators, right?
The timing couldn't be better. School starts here the 15th of August, so August 11th is the Saturday we're looking at. I know I like my kids to look good just before school starts and $10 each is a great bargain. What could be better?!?!?
I want to go a step further with this. I want to create The Baby Ears Foundation and raise funds to give to other families like this one who just need some help to get their kids the hearing they so deserve. Batteries, warranty renewals, repairs, hearing tests, etc. all add up and are often not covered by insurance. If I have my way, no child will ever go without hearing due to their parents being unable to afford it. It's a long term goal, but I WILL see it through. Mark my words.
In the meantime, I need to get my wheels turning for this first event. I need help.
1. Who knows about donations and tax laws? Do I need to do something special? Can the hair dressers collect the fees and then just gift it to the family or do I have to get some sort of permission? HELP!!
2. A bounce house. I REALLY need one cheap. Anyone know where to start on that one?
3. I need MORE MORE MORE stylists. Badly. Please? It's a great cause.
4. Ideas and things I should know. Do I take only cash so there are no bounced checks or do I just take the risk? What do I need to know?
Okay, readers. I know you're all out there. Help me help someone else.