Of going bald and the generosity of strangers

If I’m happy to have my hair finally gone, I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the rest of the county – I will finally stop harping at them to get their donations in to St. Baldrick’s.
Well, maybe.
Because the people who came out of the woodwork in the past few days quite literally brought tears to my eyes.
Like the guy in the pick up truck who pulled to a stop in front of ShopRite Sunday morning when I was walking out with a can of cooking spray I’d forgotten on my grocery trip the day before.
“Are you Jeanne Sager?” he asked.
What gave it away? The bald head or the big mouth?
I nodded only to look down. His hand was extended, a $20 bill dangling in mid-air.
“I meant to be there yesterday,” he said. “Here.”
He didn’t know me from Adam (or at least didn’t know much more of me than my voice on the radio), and yet, there it was – his heart on his sleeve.
Then there was the call at the office last week from someone I’ve met maybe once.
He read my column here in the paper about my funding shortfall for St. Baldrick’s this year.
“How far from $1,000 are you?” he asked.
I told him it could be as much as $400.
“Call me Friday. Whatever it is, I’ll make up the difference.”
I was stunned. He was offering to possibly end up giving more than any other single donor on my list.
In the end, I didn’t need to call him – by the skin of my teeth, I got my numbers right where I needed them – right at my goal.
And when the first two boys climbed in chairs on Saturday to have their heads shaved, boys whose battles with cancer I’ve written about here in the paper, boys who I’ve now gotten to watch grow up, I saw firsthand why people make those calls, why people pull up to a stranger and proffer a donation.
We do it for the kids.
So one day, those kids will be us.
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  1. Thank you for sharing. You are a caring and wonderful woman. My hat and hair off to you.

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