It all started innocently enough. Gay Wall, Georgia District Girls Ministries director (DGMD), spoke at her friend Deborah Chapin's Mpact Girls Clubs retreat. Chapin (Pen. Florida DGMD) took up an offering for this year's Coins for Kids project at the camp and more than $2,500 was raised.
This is where the story took on a life of its own.
"Some are saying that I challenged Deborah to see whose district could out give the other's," says Wall. "The district that gives the most to Coins for Kids in 2012 wins and the other district leader has to color her hair pink. The Pen. Florida Girls Ministries has been a Coins for Kids and BGMC top-giving district for years! I don't know what I was thinking!"
After this initial challenge, Wall posted an invitation for other district Girls Ministries directors to join in the fun on a private district directors Facebook page. A few more DGMDs joined in and the national staff agreed to participate as well.
"Last year the girls in our clubs gave more than $201,000 to our South Africa project," says Candy Tolbert, national Girls Ministries director. "For that, I showed up with pink and purple streaks in my hair. If our DGMDs can inspire girls to give more than $225,000 to the Alaska project this year, our entire national staff team will go pink for Coins for Kids!"
The DGMDs gathered for an annual leadership seminar in Kentucky, August 5-7. At that seminar, Wall and Chapin invited other DGMDs to join what is now being called the Pink Hair Challenge. Thirty-two directors took the challenge and pledged to raise $177,250 by December 31, 2012, for the Place of God - Alaska Coins for Kids project. Several leaders were not in attendance or needed to confirm their pledge with other district officials, so the pledged amount is expected to rise significantly.
"When we recorded the pledges and added the amounts non-pledging districts gave last year, the potential giving far exceeds our national goal of $225,000," adds Lori Van Veen, Coins for Kids project funds coordinator. "A few of the non-pledging districts have already given more than they did last year. We believe there will be dozens of leaders with pink hair at next year's seminar."
The Pink Hair Challenge was presented at the annual Coins for Kids luncheon, August 6. Mark Entzminger, senior director of AG Children's Ministries, was in attendance and committed to join the national Girls Ministries staff with pink hair should giving exceed the goal.
David and Mary Boyd (BGMC director and coordinator, respectively) were also in attendance at the luncheon and decided to add to the challenge. The Boyds promised to show up with pink hair as well, if the girls gave $250,000 or more.
Pledges from district are still coming in. Those leaders whose districts meet their CFK giving goal will have pink hair at the August 2013 DGMD Seminar which will immediately precede the 55th General Council in Orlando, Florida. T-shirts stating, "I took the Pink Hair Challenge" will be worn by all who meet their goal.
"What excites me most about this Pink Hair Challenge is that it has gone above and beyond Georgia and Pen. Florida," says Chapin. "It has motivated other DGMDs to set a goal above what they've given in the past. Together we will be able to make a difference in the lives of even more children in Alaska."
For more information on Coins for Kids, click here.