Dassia Stripe was looking forward to her 10th birthday when she listened to an appeal from Saint Francis Hospice on her mum’s favourite radio station: Time FM.
‘I heard the Hospice wasn’t raising much money because of social distancing, so I wanted to help,’ Dassia recalled.
Dassia received a Barbie ambulance for her birthday, but also kindly decided to give a gift to others who really need it.
‘I was thinking of ways to raise money,’ she revealed. ‘When there was a heatwave, my hair was annoying me, so I thought I’d cut it off for charity.’
Dassia’s waist-long brown locks had been seven years in the making. With a pledge to chop off 17 inches, she set up a GoFundMe page and watched an incredible £474 roll in.
Not wanting her hair to go to waste, Dassia donated her trimmings to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides free real-hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their hair through cancer treatment.
‘It’s sad that some children don’t have hair because it’s a really special thing,’ she explained.
‘Their hair is their independence, so they need it. I wanted to let the children know that there are people who care. My heart told me to make other people happy.’
Despite being only 10, Dassia has learnt a lot about Saint Francis Hospice, thanks to her Aunty Maria, who works in the Community Nursing team.
‘The Hospice makes a sad time happy for families and creates magical memories,’ Dassia said. ‘The patients don’t die alone or sad. People need to be happy, especially when it’s close to the end of their life.’
Dassia has some simple advice for anyone who’s considering fundraising for the charity: ‘Do it and follow your heart. Your heart is leading the way.’
‘Dassia is so caring,’ beamed a very proud mum, Astel. ‘I’ve always said that when she’s older, she’ll be a nurse, teacher, or carer. I’m totally in awe that I get to be this lovely little girl’s mum.’
‘Or I want to do a job that helps sick children,’ Dassia declared.
Next up for Dassia is taking her certificates to school for ‘Show and Tell’.
If you have a fundraising idea – no matter how small – then Saint Francis Hospice is there to support you every step of the way. You can get in touch with the team at [email protected] or on 01708 771431.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Hospice’s patients, Dassia!
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