The Atlanta Public Schools Back to School Bash was exactly that — a BASH! We arrived at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta around 8 am that morning. With family in tow, we feverishly found the correct loading dock, parked, unloaded the car and set to the task of finding our booth. We walked into a huge hall filled with volunteers of all ages all working to prepare for the arrival of the APS families.
There was a noticeable buzz of expectant joy in the air. It felt good, better than most shows. My whole family was a little giddy. I usually have a fair amount of anxiety before every show, but this was different. We didn't know what to expect, but we knew our purpose, instill confidence in curly haired kids to help build self-esteem and love for their curly, coily textured hair. We soon found our spot and began setup.
Within 20 minutes the sounds of a local drum team and cheerleaders filled the space. This marked the official opening of the event. It was incredible; they unknowingly set the rhythmic tone for the afternoon. Upbeat, fun, constant movement and full of bubbly chatter.
Before we knew it, kids and parents were at our booth asking, "So what is a PuffCuff?" I'd reply, "Sit down and let me show you," which they would graciously oblige. Kids came to our booth with their hair tightly bound by rubber bands, elastic headbands, shoestrings and those horrible hair bobbles. (BTW, how I hate those things. I can still hear the thump they made when one of those hard shiny balls slipped loose from my mother's fingers and popped me in my forehead, Uggghhh!) Traction alopecia was prevalent amongst many of the girls. I would ask mom or dad to remove those items. My poor little volunteer models squirmed and twinged in pain almost every time.
Crowds gathered to watch for what this could possibly be. Once the torturous removal was over, I was allowed to style their hair with a PuffCuff. Boy, did their faces light-up. When looking in the mirror, the expression on their faces was priceless. Their mouths opened, and jaws dropped in disbelief of how comfortable the PuffCuff is. Most could not believe it was securely holding their thick tresses in place. You could see the change in demeanor and a boost in self-confidence. Daughters would proudly say "Look how much hair I have!" Moms and Dads were just as surprised and impressed. "You mean, no more hair drama!?!?," they'd say. Both couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to achieve the look their lil ones sought after.
The floor around our booth was littered with broken rubber bands, abandoned bobby pins and sticky, gooey stretched-out headbands. We demonstrated the PuffCuff for over 50 parents and kids that day, and it was awesome. And here's the exciting part. We gave away over 200 Original PuffCuffs to Atlanta Public School children. WHAT?!?!? Yass, 200 kids got PuffCuffed! Most of them asking not to take it off and pleading to mom and dad to get more. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
We trust and believe this simple hair accessory is a product for engineering positive self-esteem. Volunteering at the APS Back to School Bash truly warmed our hearts, reassured our purpose and mission. Being able to boost a child's self-esteem is a real blessing. Thank you to Stephanie Hudson from Atlanta Public Schools and Miya Seay-Solomon from Fox 5 Atlanta Helping Hands for inviting us to be a part of the special day!