My favorite Israeli blogger Jameel shared a letter and certificate that his young daughter received after cutting off her long hair and donating it to an organization called Zichron Menachem – The Israeli Association for the Support and Assistance of Children with Cancer and their Families. The organization provides wigs to children undergoing chemotherapy who have lost their hair (similar to Locks of Love here in the US).
Soon after she sent in her donation, she received this letter back (translated from the Hebrew):
Yes, yes, I mean you. You, who faithfully grew your hair for a long time and then cut it short (and sometimes, even shorter than you would have liked), just so your hair would meet the criteria of Zichron Menachem, just so you could donate it to sick children. You just wanted to aid children that were in a bad way.
When their hair started to fall out, in a bad way.
That is the first actual sign which proves to them that they are sick — with the terrible disease known as cancer, and breaks them emotionally.
And not only that, but when they suddenly see large faces looking back at them in the mirror. Too large. Missing too much. And at that critical moment, what is missing has a tremendous impact.
That is the point where they meet your hair. Your noble act returns their faces to them. Their self respect. Their self-confidence that everything “will be ok” and “I’m still myself despite everything.”
Your valiance is noble!
I want to thank you for your partnership with Zichron Menachem — for helping make a very difficult time, a bit easier. And I want you to know that how successful your effort is, every time I see a bashful smile from those mirrors, trying to love what they see. And they succeed.
There are other ways to contribute to Zichron Menachem. Visit our internet site: zichron.org
What kid (or adult, for that matter) wouldn’t be beaming after reading that letter? Who wouldn’t be pulling out the ruler to see how long it might be until her hair grew enough to send in another donation?
The letter is so effective for several reasons. It lets donors emotionally experience the impact of their donation with vivid details and a compelling story. It shows that the organization understands the sacrifice the donor made with their investment of time and effort in growing the hair, and then the potentially traumatic step of cutting it off. And a little flattery will get you pretty far, when it is sincere and well-deserved.
Kudos to Zichron Menachem for its marketing savvy, and yasher koach (loosely translated as “more power to you” or “way to go!”) to Jameel’s daughter for deciding on her own to participate in this worthy program.