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Making a Difference for Children in Poverty

Nov 25, 2011 ● By Anji Sisler

Natural Awakenings is proud to bring our readers a heartfelt message of hope and helping for the holidays. This is the first-person account of Anji Sisler, a member of our community who has an important, heartwarming message for all of us. It’s amazing the effect we can each have on the world around us.

“My name is Anji Sisler. I live in Palatine, with my husband Steve and our four children: Nathan, 10, Cade, 8, Ty, 4 and Talia, 2. The youngest two children were adopted from Ethiopia last July.

“On November 2, 2011, I shaved my head as the culmination of my ‘Campaign for a Cause,’ with an organization called One Day’s Wages (ODW), which partners with grassroots organizations working to alleviate extreme global poverty. My purpose in connecting with ODW was to raise awareness and funds for the famine in the Horn of Africa, which is currently the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. The United Nations estimates that 750,000 people will die in the next four months if aid is not provided.

“Going bald may seem drastic for someone who’s always had long hair, but I wanted to do something with some shock value, so that people realize that if I can do this crazy thing and sacrifice my hair for the cause, maybe they can sacrifice something, too. Everyone can give something.

But this story isn’t really about my hair or the lack of it. That just gave me an opportunity to speak out for people who can’t tell their own story; for people whose lives are literally hanging in the balance. This campaign gave me a platform to inspire and motivate my friends to get involved and help others that are in desperate need.

“I have been blown away by the outpouring of generosity and support of my friends and family. Thank you all so much! I feel as if I lit one match and started a forest fire! To date, more than $12,000 has been donated, and an anonymous donor has pledged to match the largest single donation to the famine fundraiser, up to $15,000! I want to encourage everyone not to sit on the sidelines when it is within your power to act. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty.”

“Visit the ODW fundraising website that tells the story of how I decided to shave my head at and watch a video interview on my friend’s blog at”