MELFORT — Customers at the A&W in Melfort were in for an unusual show when clippers came out and 22-year-old Erin Pickering had all her hair cut off in the restaurant.
This was part of a donation event Pickering organized, in which she placed two jars at A&W, one that said shave, meaning she would shave her head, and one that said not to shave. People could put money in either jar, and all donations went to North East Outreach and Support Services.
On March 15, she vowed to follow through on that commitment, but then on the morning of, she had to go to the hospital for treatment for a kidney infection. Despite this, she attended the event, noting she would have to go back to the hospital later that evening.
“I made a commitment about a month ago to do this, and I had a lot of people relying on me,” Pickering said. “I raised a lot of money and I didn’t want to back down.”
Asked how she was feeling, she responded, “physically pretty well, but I feel good, feel better”.
Her original goal was $250 but in the end she raised over $1,400 for NEOSS, with about $500 more in the shave jar than the not shave jar.
“I wanted to think of something where I could raise money for the women’s shelter but also be creative of it, so I thought, ‘Might as well give up my hair.’”
Pickering she felt amazing and was shocked by the amount.
“I didn’t expect to raise that much money.”
Pickering chose to benefit NEOSS because of her passion for women’s rights and wanting to support programs addressing and raising awareness about domestic abuse.
“They have a place where women can go who have been through a tough time and be supported and have a place to stay, and I think that’s really awesome.”
“Even though we have equal rights, per se, we still don’t have equal rights,” Pickering said about women. “Even though we’ve come a long way with our status being the same as men, I feel actually we’re still not viewed the same or treated the same with certain things.”
While A&W may have been an usual location for the fundraising event, it wasn’t an accident.
“It’s my workplace, so that’s why,” Pickering said. “My boss was pretty open to wanting to do the idea. She’s pretty awesome. She’s all about women’s rights and things.”
During the event there was a sucker draw game available, which awarded A&W food and drinks for last-minute donations.
Pickering wanted to thank the community.
“I just want to thank you so much for helping me out. It means a lot.”