Donating Your Hair for a Good Cause

By: Justina Scharf 


My hair grows very quickly so every few years I try to donate it.

I usually try to donate to Wigs for Kids but this year I was about an inch shy of their 12 inch requirement so I decided to look into who else I could donate my hair to. I ended up donating my hair to Children With Hair Loss, but their are so many great place to choose from.

Hopefully, this list helps you if you end up deciding to donate your hair to those in need.


1. Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids — Hair Donations
24231 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145

– Minimum of 12 inches.

– Hair cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted. Temporary coloring or highlights that washout are acceptable, but must be completely washed out before cutting.

2. Children with Hair Loss

12776 Dixie Hwy
South Rockwood, MI 48179

– Minimum of 8 inches. (Longer is Preferred)

– Non-chemically treated hair is preferred (but any hair in good condition will be accepted).

– Will take chemically treated hair in good condition.

– Gray hair is accepted.

3. Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Attn: 192-123
806 SE 18th Ave.
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

– Minimum of 8 inches.

– No dyes, bleaches or chemicals.

– No more than 5% gray

4. Locks of Love

234 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

– Minimum of 10 inches.

– Hair that is colored or permed is acceptable.

– Hair that has been bleached (usually this refers to highlighted hair) is not usable. **If the hair was bleached years ago and has completely grown out it is fine to donate.

– Gray hair is accepted and sold to offset manufacturing costs.

– Dreadlocks, wigs, falls, hair extensions and synthetic hair are unusable.

– Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid.


Donation Tips:

– Your hair must be clean and dry. (Wet or damp hair can mold during shipping)

– Pull curly or wavy hair straight to get an accurate length.

– Layered hair is usually okay as long as the shortest length meets the minimum length requirement.

– Cut hair using an elastic band. Make sure to cut above the elastic. Leave it in a ponytail or braid.

– Place hair in a ziplock bag and send in a a padded envelope. ( I usually also wrap my hair in a layer of tissue paper to keep it all together during shipping and delivery)

Have you found any other great places to donate your hair to?



A Thankful Thanksgiving

By: Sue Anganes


Nothing ever stays the same. We often strive for tradition during the holiday season, but usually life does not allow us to do things the same way every year; kids grow older, new babies join the fold, marriage expands the family, and loved ones are lost. My secret to enjoying the holidays without stress is to be thankful for the people and loved ones around me. I try to focus on the things that truly matter—people and relationships—and try not to let the little details of the holidays become overwhelming.

This year, members of my extended family are moving to Europe for a couple of years due to a job assignment. My family will be joining their family for our Thanksgiving feast. We haven’t celebrated with them in the past, but this year our celebration will be all the more special, but also bittersweet. We will have one last large family gathering before we lose them for a couple of years. We will all be bringing our favorite dishes and desserts to share, and hopefully be relieving some of the cooking burden for our hostess. 

Because I won’t be hosting and making the turkey at my house this year, I’m buying and saving a big bird in my freezer to cook some time mid-December when we will have another mini Thanksgiving feast at home. No one can ever have enough turkey leftovers! 

Growing up with Juvenile Diabetes

By: Steven Matthews


I was 11 when I was first diagnosed with diabetes. I would later find out that Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1) affects nearly 1.25 million Americans, but at the time all I knew was that it had affected me and my family.infographic-type-1-diabetes

Diabetes doesn’t run in my family so when I started losing weight suddenly, was constantly thirsty and was always tired and lethargic, my parents took me to the hospital not knowing what to expect.

What doctors found was that my blood sugar was close to 600. I spent a week in the hospital as they worked to get my blood sugar regulated and teach me and my family how to handle my new life with diabetes.

My whole life seemed to change overnight.

Between nutritionists, endocrinologists, technicians and all the others, I spent the next few months surrounded by doctors almost constantly. I was giving myself insulin injections about 6 times a day and checking my blood sugar 8-10 times a day and had to call my doctor with numbers every week.

I had to make sure that I was staying active, but doing so without causing my blood sugar levels to spike or dip too much. Hours of gaming with my friends became a thing of the past.

My parents had to work with my school in order to make sure that I could take my insulin at certain times and was eating the right kind of foods in the cafeteria. When I say the right kind of foods I mean nothing to sugary, not too many carbs and NO more orange juice. I remember that being the worst part for me , because I loved orange juice.

And I was carrying my insulin and test strips everywhere I went in my ninja turtles lunch box.

Go to school. Ninja turtles lunch box.

Go to dinner. Ninja turtles lunch box.

Go to the beach. Ninja turtles lunch box.

Everywhere I went I had to pack that thing with me and hope that I didn’t lose it somewhere, which at that age is always a concern.

But I got used to it. Healthy food choices became normal, getting the right amount of exercise was second nature, and that lunch box was a permanent fixture in my life.

Now that I’m older I have an insulin pump which gives me more freedom from the multiple injections and means I only carry a blood sugar testing kit with me now. Most people don’t even know I am diabetic anymore they just think I make healthy food choices and exercise because it’s good for me… which is true, it’s just not the only reason.


Even though I think my diabetes has made me make better life decisions than I would have made otherwise, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make it easy or mean that I don’t worry that my kids might get it. The day my first son was born I looked at him and thought what if…

We’ve been incredibly blessed so far that none of our three children has developed juvenile diabetes, but I constantly find myself monitoring their behaviors, looking for any symptoms in them. But if one of our kids develops it at least I’ll know more than my parents did and we’ll get through it together as a family.


Learn more about Juvenile Diabetes at



Helping Children Through Pet Loss

By: Elaine Bearden


ZoeyRecently, we lost our pet yorkie, Zoey. Zoey was a huge part of our family for 14 years and her absence has left a huge hole in our hearts. My husband and I called her our second child and treated her as such, especially after our daughter left for college. She helped fill our empty nest with her kisses and cuddles and her never ending curiosity and love.

Breaking the news to my daughter, who is now married and lives out of state, was difficult for me because I had to accept the reality of my fur baby being gone.Having buried our fair share of hamsters, goldfish and other pets while she was growing up, I hadn’t fully expected my daughter to take it so hard.

Though she knew it was coming since Zoey was 16 and had been having health issues, it was still a shock for her to know that our little dog who she had spent so many years with would not be there to greet her when she came to visit us anymore.

Kids have different views of life with a pet. They’ve spent formative years having that pet within their daily lives and their grief no matter the age is understandable and valid.


Tips to Help Your Child Through the Death of a Pet

Share your Grief.  Let your child see the hurt you might be feeling over the loss of the pet. If you aren’t grieving the loss, respect their feelings, without making them feel ashamed, guilty, or minimizing the loss that they feel.

Reassure them. A pet’s death can raise a lot of questions and fears, especially in younger children. They may ask you about where the pet goes when it dies, whether they will die, whether you will die, and whether they were responsible for the pet’s death. Think about the answers to these questions before talking to them. I remember when my daughter was young and had accidentally killed one of her pet hamsters and we had to explain to her what happened. It was hard for her to hear but she was more careful with her future pets.

Give them closure. If it’s possible, give your child time to say goodbye to their pet before the pet dies. Or have a memorial or funeral service after so they can say goodbye in their own way.

Remember the good times.  Talk about the good memories each of you has with the pet. It will help your child replace thoughts of the tragedy with thoughts of happiness. My daughter’s husband texted me the other day and let me know that she had come across a toy that she had already bought to give Zoey for Christmas and it had caused her to break down, so I texted her a story about Zoey’s first day with us that my daughter had forgotten. It was just the thing she needed to pull her from her sadness into laughter.

Don’t feel the need to replace the pet right away. It’s okay to wait. Don’t let the empty place your pet left make you feel like you have to fill that void. Depending on the age of your children, they might beg you to get a new pet immediately. Only you can gauge whether you and they are truly ready for a new pet. If you or another of your children aren’t ready, talk to the child who is wanting a new pet right away about the need to let hearts heal and honoring the pet’s memory.

Priceless MOMents and Milestones

I can’t believe that Landry is 7 months old. It feels like yesterday that I had him; yet, it seems like he’s always been a part of our family.

pricelessOur little ones grow at an amazing pace. In just half a year, Landry has learned to eat, roll, sit and begin to try to talk. He’s as proud of himself as we are of him. There’s nothing like the expression on a baby’s face when they experience something for the first time. I was looking through my camera roll and came across this picture of Landry pulling himself up into a sitting position. I think it perfectly sums up how priceless these little milestones are.


What priceless moments and milestones have you experienced this month?

*Share them in the comments and on Twitter using #PricelessMOMents

Living History

By: Sue Anganesimg_1304


We recently had a chance to relive history. Every year, the Collings Foundation, in Stow, MA,  opens up its doors and welcomes the public to The Battle for the Airfield. This year, there were over 300 reenactors representing several branches of Allied and Axis military participating in the reenactment. They had fully restored military equipment of all kinds including, tanks, cannons, troop carriers, half tracks, aircraft, and support supplies. Allied and Axis camps were set up, and visitors were able to talk with the participants and get a feel for what the soldiers had lived through and what life was like in the 1940’s.

Here’s a short video clip I took of the event:

veteran-round-tableIn the afternoon, there was a round table discussion which featured four WWII veterans, each who explained their jobs in the service and a bit about their experiences. The first hand knowledge was incredible, and my sons soaked it all in. The WWII vets were all in their late eighties and nineties. It will not be long before their stories will no longer be told in person.

We bought an autographed book, and the boys had a picture taken with the author who had served our country in WWII, and who was also (we found out) childhood friends with one of our extended family members. He recognized our last name when he signed the book!img_1279

This is now my twenty-sixth year of homeschooling, and my fifteen year old son is now the only one left that I am teaching. In a couple of years, he will be finished with high school and my job will be done. Until then, when there is an educational opportunity such as this WWII living history event, you can bet we will be there learning as much as we can in such a fantastic way. My oldest son, who has been out of the house and married for six years, also went to the event the day before we attended. When an interest in something is instilled in kids at a young age, it never leaves them; and there is always an enjoyment in attending an event such as this one and learning something new. It’s been important to me to take my kids to museums, National Parks, and monuments. You don’t have to homeschool to encourage kids to have an interest though; you just have to be willing to take the time and opportunities that are out there. New England has a wealth of history everywhere you look.

Actively seeking these opportunities in history has also spurred a great interest in my eighteen-year-old son. He has been working on a project of his own for the past year and a half; compiling as many stories as he can record of first hand interviews he has had with local veterans. Hopefully, he will eventually be able to write a book about these local heroes.img_1289

Some other living history opportunities in the New England area are:

The Lowell National Historical Park:

The Minute Man National Historical Park:

Old Sturbridge Village:

Plimoth Plantation:

and, The Fort at Number 4:   just to name a few.

It’s great to be able to study history from textbooks, but it’s so much more fun to experience history in a hands-on way.


Adventures in Kinetic Sculpture Racing

By: Amy Dienta


Back in June, I went on an amazing trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with my husband of 15 years. I ordered clothes online and was determined to look nice. Unfortunately, I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life and the photos proved that. image1

Since the week I came back from my vacation, I’ve been walking, which turned into running, which turned into this amazing adventure I never dreamed I could do.  

Last weekend, I participated in the first Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race. I had the most fun I have had in a long time! I was one of 4 pilots of the borrowed Kraken Upcycle, borrowed from Baltimore. 

We spent the day going through a mud obstacle, parading through the city to the boulevard for the water trial, which we climbed out and paddled in the Merrimack. All done while bribing the judges and the public by passing out candy, beads and blowing bubbles.  image 2

Our team won a trophy for best water entry and we had a blast! I would like to thank Bianca and and all of the wonderful group who put the race together. I would like to thank my co-pilots as I had no clue what to do or what to expect from this race. 

I’m hoping that next year I can persuade my 14-year-old to participate in the race with me in something we have designed. 

Our Trip to the Ogunquit Playhouse

By: Danielle McFadden


This summer my parents purchased tickets to go see the Little Mermaid at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. It’s such a quaint theatre and we were excited to bring Zoe there for one of her first live plays. Much to our surprise when the curtains opened, the production was entirely comprised of kids! I was amazed at the play, from the set to the costumes to the budding actors and actresses bringing the tale of the Little Mermaid alive – right in front of our eyes!

our-tripOne of the things that I enjoyed most about the show (besides watching Zoe’s excitement throughout) was the sense of community among the actors and the audience. During intermission and after the show, you could overhear people talking to and about the actors – they were their children, friends, neighbors and, in that moment, stars.

After the show ended, all the characters went outside for a meet and greet. In a two year old’s eyes, she was really meeting Ariel. How exciting is that?



A production like this opens our little ones up to the possibilities available to them. Do you want to star in a play? Transform stages and people into the stories we read and dream about? Make a child’s day by taking a picture with them? These are the opportunities that we can give to our children that help shape them and make them who they will be when they get older.

I highly recommend checking out the Ogunquit Playhouse and their summer series for kids. Whether you are staying up in Maine on vacation or taking a day trip, it’s definitely worth it!