05 May 2016, Uncategorized
Ever so often, we become overly concerned about the way we look. We wake up feeling frizzy, like we are having a bad hair day, or walk out of the salon complaining about the bad haircut that was foisted upon us. What does it mean to have a good or bad hair day? The truth is that it is something petty and trivial that we pointlessly obsess over. For many patients suffering from cancer, the state of their hair is the least of their many worries.
HCA Hospice Care had the privilege to speak to Jani Combrink, founder of Stork’s Nest, who shaved off her hair to raise funds for the patients under the care of Star PALS, a palliative care service under HCA Hospice Care.
Stork’s Nest started four years ago in 2012 with only 20 of Jani’s close friends. To date, they have established a strong parenting support group reaching out to more than 7000 like-minded people living in Singapore who have been raising funds for Star PALS through different initiatives.
Last year, Stork’s Nest went the extra mile to organise three events which raised a total of $43,451:
The bustling bazaar has been an ongoing event since 2013, providing a unique opportunity for different individuals to set up special stalls selling both preloved and brand new items; all the proceeds from the successful sale were then generously donated to Star PALS.
“I was so embarrassed that I wished I could have done it in the bathroom instead.”
Despite her apparent mortification, Jani’s leap of faith and courage has moved the hearts of many to donate and give their support to Star PALS.
“No one stepped forward to shave. I was thinking it was just hair but when every strand of my hair started to fall, it was tough,” says Jani, with a look in her eyes that was a bold blend of bravery and fear (for one cannot exist without the other). “But I just kept thinking of the children suffering. How silly of me to feel so emotional about my hair!”
From various walks of life, Jani and the members of her team have each met children who were suffering from cancer, and have always wanted to raise awareness for these children through a big and significant event. Since they missed their opportunity to participate in the Singapore “Hair for Hope” event, they decided to go a-head (pun alert!) with their own private “shave-a-thon”.
Jani’s Christmas Quiz-a-thon and Auction
A swarm of question marks was hovering all over the heads in a hall in Fullerton Hotel throughout the enigma of an event known as “Quiz Night”! Funds were raised through the sales of tickets for the night and through an auction - a lucky Manchester United fan brought home the much-coveted grand prize: a jersey signed by Will Keane himself!
Now…why did Stork’s Nest decide to channel their funds to Star PALS?
Stork’s Nest does not run on a single cent of money nor do they accept any donations.
“We run on human energy and experiences,” shares Jani. “We can hold more events, not with money, but with the human resources that we have.”
Every individual comes aboard with no hidden agenda or motive, but only to improve the community by empowering and supporting parents. Currently, Stork’s Nest has nine official groups which cater to beneficiaries with different needs, from single mums to parents with children suffering from cancer.
“People were giving us money. We did not want to accept it for our own organisation so we decided to donate the money to a good cause,” says Jani. “The work that Star PALS does is such a great fit to what we believe in.”
Anson Ng, HCA Hospice Care’s long-time volunteer, was the one who shared with Jani about Star PALS, introducing her to HCA and our services…and as they all say, “the rest is history”.
Indeed, it has been a privilege to be the beneficiary of these wonderful and selfless initiatives. Once again, we would like to thank Stork’s Nest for their continued support from “hair to eternity”, and donations which have definitely gone a long way towards blessing the children under our care.
To donate, please feel free to visit https://www.hca.org.sg/hospice/volunteers/donation.
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