Hair is important to girls. Before a recent haircut, my daughter told me she didn’t want hair a boy haircut. When I was in high school, I had pretty short hair for a while. My part time job at the time required me to wear a hat and I was called a boy more than once. Today’s organization is helping girls who have lost their hair still feel girly and pretty.
Headbands of Hope is on a mission to spread hope in all girls, one headband at a time. They are located in Charlotte, North Carolina and their headbands are manufactured in Bismarck, North Dakota. The organization was founded by Jessica Ekstrom after she interned with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2011. She met girls who lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments and loved to wear girly headbands to still feel pretty and keep their feminine identity. Wigs can be awkward and uncomfortable and hats are not that girly, so a headband is a great way to boost their spirits when they looked in the mirror. You can read the touching wish story that inspired Jessica here.
Jessica is also an inspiration to girls because she started Headbands of Hope when she was just 20 years old. She says, “Hopefully my story shows people that it’s never too early to follow your dreams.” While she admits there are challenges to running an organization while also focusing on school and keeping a social life, she continues, “I wouldn’t have wanted to start it any other way. I can say I’ve helped hundreds of girls and started a fashion trend that makes a difference, all before I get my [college] diploma.”
Headbands of Hope has a variety of headbands for girls and women on their website. For each headband purchased, $1 is donated to the St Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research. In addition, headbands are donated to hospitals for girls undergoing treatment. They work with St. Baldricks to select hospitals or take suggestions by e-mailing Jessica@headbandsofhope.org. You can read one volunteer’s story of bringing headbands to a hospital here.
In a recent interview on the Bellaspire Blog, a young headband recipient named Tori said, “I like headbands because my head is bald! It makes me look pretty and the headbands are soft and don’t hurt my head.” Tori’s favorite headband is the one named after her, Totally Tori.
How can you help?
- Purchase headbands via their website or through a retail location.
- If you are a retailer and would like to carry Headbands of Hope, you can contact Jessica at Jessica@headbandsofhope.org.
- You can also spread the word about their mission on social media and sharing with friends.
- You can also find out more about becoming a Hope representative by contacting Jessica.