Tuesday 6 May, 2014

The Amazing Raze: How One Haircut Will Help Change a Community

At EF, we believe in giving back to our communities —both local and global— 365 days a year. The fact that we have so many passionate and engaged staff members allows us to be involved in a variety of initiatives. We have a dedicated in-office EF Engagement & Citizenship Team (EFECT) that is made up of committees including Adopt a Village, Green Team, Healthy Living and Charity Challenge.

Throughout the year, EF raises money for Free the Children’s Adopt a Village program. All proceeds go towards Osenetoi, the community we support in Kenya. Each holiday season, we also organize a food drive through our Charity Challenge for Daily Bread in Toronto and Moisson Montreal. Additionally, we’ve recently become a Partner for Life with Canadian Blood Services and this spring, our staff members will be heading to Evergreen Brickworks to help clean up the grounds. We are always looking for ways to get involved in our communities, whether it’s in our own backyard or around the world.

A brave EF-er gives back 

Not long ago, Ani, a member of the EF family, bravely decided to shave her head to raise money for EF’s Adopt A Village community. She decided to call the event “The Amazing Raze” and her goal was $3,000. To show our support for Ani’s incredible initiative, EF decided to match all funds that were raised.


The hair shaving took place on the evening of April 11th and it was a great night—there was even a live auction to win the honour of cutting off each of her pigtails. One went for $200 and the other went for $160! The donation page remained open for a few weeks after the event, and the grand total has just been tallied. Ani was able to bring in $4,252 and with EF matching all funds raised from the event, her total contribution is $8,504

We sat down with Ani to find out more about the initiative so we could share the story of her amazing commitment and passion! 


What made you decide to organize The Amazing Raze?

I was inspired by a friend from Australia, Amy, who shaved her head to raise money for leukemia research. I thought, “I have a lot of hair too – why not put it to good use and raise money for a cause I care about!”


What did you do with your hair after you shaved your head?

The hair was donated to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which makes and donates real hair wigs to the Canadian Cancer Society.


Besides shaving your head, did you organize any other activities to raise money?

At the actual event, there was a bake sale, beverages for sale, a photo booth, dancing and fun activities revolving around the head-shaving itself.

ani shave2

How have you been involved with Free the Children, other than for this event?

In the past, I’ve been involved in other Adopt a Village initiatives through EF – helping with the holiday raffle, candy grams for Valentine’s Day and an end-of-year event. This time I thought I’d get involved on a more personal level and spread awareness to my family and friends as well.


Why did you choose to donate the funds to Free the Children’s Adopt a Village program?

The Adopt a Village model makes a lot of sense to me and I love the idea of helping people never need charity again. It’s very empowering for those communities.


Why is doing something like this and involving your workplace an important part of your work life?

I’m happiest when I feel like I can be myself in the workplace and this is something that I’m passionate about and want to share with my coworkers. Although, it would have been fun to show up to work one day completely bald with no explanation!


Do you miss your long hair since shaving it off? 

When I realized I wouldn’t have my hair for much longer, I started experimenting with crazy hairstyles and having lots of fun with it. I do of course miss it, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with crazy scarves and big earrings! 

ani shave head


Do you want to help make a difference in a community in need? Take an EF and Me to We Service Learning tour to one of six incredible destinations!