Despite the ongoing efforts to find a cure for cancer, there are few of us who do not know someone affected by it. As frightening as the diagnosis is, the treatments themselves can be daunting as well and for women, particularly, the reality of losing their hair as a result of treatment is an all-too-stark reminder of what they are facing.
Hope Scarves is a Louisville-based organization that collects donated head scarves and sends them to women who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. All recipients, whether they lose their hair or not, receive the scarf with a story of encouragement from another woman who has faced cancer – often the same woman who previously wore that scarf.
Partnering to make the mission possible is Highland Cleaners in Louisville, which cleans the scarves free of charge to prepare them for their next recipient. Highland has partnered with Hope Scarves for six years now.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 30 years old and seven months pregnant,” says Lara MacGregor, founder of Hope Scarves. “A stranger – a friend of a friend – sent me her head scarves with a simple note: ‘You can do this.’ That simple act of compassion gave me strength and hope at a key moment in my life. That moment was the inspiration for Hope Scarves.
“Partners like Highland are what make our efforts possible,” MacGregor added. “They care for the scarves that carry hope to women throughout the world.”
Over the course of their partnership with Hope Scarves, Highland Cleaners has cleaned more than 8,000 scarves, which have been shipped to cancer patients in all 50 states and 16 foreign countries.
“Giving back to the community is a key part of our business model,” said Michael Jones, Highlands Cleaner owner. “We love working with Hope Scarves because the work we do for them is core to their mission. When women receive a lovely, wrapped scarf from Hope Scarves they know that it was given in love, packed with hope and cleaned with care.”