Greater Bank IT Test Analyst, Neenu George is shaving her long locks in support of disadvantaged youth.
Supporting others is something that has been ingrained in Neenu from a young age. As long as Neenu can remember, her parents have supported various charities and good causes, and both Neenu and her husband are also passionate about giving back to others.
"When I moved to Australia, I was amazed by the number of people who volunteer their time for wonderful causes whilst juggling a professional life and a busy family life. When I started working at Greater Bank, I was really impressed by the contribution the Greater Charitable Foundation makes to the community and inspired by the amount of time Greater Bank employees give to volunteering. I too wanted to do something special for charity," Neenu says.
But there is also a personal and powerful reason for Neenu's decision to shave her beautiful long hair.
"A couple of years ago, it was the 25th anniversary of my younger sister's passing (we lost her to leukaemia), and the thought of shaving my hair came into mind for the first time. Because my husband is a big fan of long hair and I wanted him to be on-board with the idea wholeheartedly, I discussed it with him but (as expected) he wasn't overly keen on my idea initially. So I left it and sat on the idea for some time. I realised how much I wanted to resonate the emotions of those brave survivors who didn't get a chance to choose between short hair and being bald, so recently, when I raised it again, my husband understood. And here I am."
But, whilst supporting cancer is clearly something close to Neenu's heart, she decided she wanted to focus her support on another important demographic.
"When I started thinking about hair donation, cancer research support was the first idea. However, I decided I wanted to take a different approach to others. I wanted to bring awareness to and support for the empowerment of disadvantaged young people. Youth being the future of every country, I chose Youth Off The Streets for their inspiring efforts to transform the lives of young people in our community. Having young children myself, my hope is that they too can be proud of me shaving my hair to support disadvantaged young people who have yet had the opportunity to discover their true potential."
Bravery takes on many different shapes, sizes and forms. Whilst Neenu is incredibly modest about how brave she is for taking on this challenge, she does admit that shaving her hair will be a significant change.
"The long hair has been a (well pampered) part of myself for more than half of my life. And for people who know me personally, it's a (kind of) part of my identity. But I didn't want to wait anymore and regret not doing it. This is something I'm passionate about and I'm ready."
Greater Charitable Foundation partner Youth Off The Streets were overwhelmed when told about Neenu's decision. If you would like to support Neenu in her efforts to raise funds and awareness for disadvantaged young people in our community, please visit Neenu's Everyday Hero page via this link - https://yotscommunityfundraising.everydayhero.com/au/baldandbold
Neenu will undertake the Great Shave at Greater Bank's Head Office on Friday 15th November.