In this blog post, as part of our #BeKind campaign, I would like to share the story of a girl and her hair with you. As you may have seen in previous blog posts I help at Light Project Peterborough and the Peterborough Winter Night Shelter.
We recently had a girl on the project that was homeless. She was only a young girl and really struggled coming out of herself. She was on the project a few weeks. While I got to know her reasonably well and we had a few conversations over the time, she never quite came out of herself.
One evening at the church we were getting ready for dinner. She spotted a lady with similar Caribbean hair to her. The other lady was another volunteer on the project. The homeless guest asked the volunteer if she could plait her hair or style it in some way. The volunteer said she could and after dinner that was exactly what she did.
To the volunteer this was a tiny thing to do. However, to our guest this was one of the best things that ever could have happened. I had never seen her smile so wide. She said that she felt like a princess when her hair was being done. Our guest was quiet during and after getting her hair done. She just sat there with this huge smile, literally from ear to ear.
It was a really emotional thing to see. She had gone from having her hair all over the place, to these gorgeous plaits and a fabulous style. Our guest couldn’t stop touching it. For the first night on the project she went straight to bed. She normally stayed up until after the night shift staff had arrived, just listening and watching, never saying a word. She went to bed with a huge smile and tears in her eyes. It was clear she was completely overwhelmed.
I then saw her a few days later at a different venue and the smile was still there. She was happy and chatting and just seemed in a much better place, mentally. It was like she felt she was ‘worthy’ again. She came out of herself and a really character on the project, someone I looked forward to seeing.
This tiny act of kindness of doing someone’s hair made a huge impact on the volunteers’ life, the guests’ life and my life. It was such a tiny thing to do; but what a difference it made.
I hope the story of a girl and her hair has made you smile and feel warm and squishy inside. Is there a small act of kindness you could do to someone that would brighten their day, or even their future?