Grateful Heads donates dyed head gear to cancer patients

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  A local group working to become a non-profit is making a difference one dye job at a time.

Grateful Heads is adding color to cancer patients' lives.

Each cotton scarf Heidi Bundy twists into shape starts out a stark white.

With rubber bands she secures it and eventually adds color to the scarf one by one.

In the back of Heidi's store, A Little Bit Hippy is the perfect home for Grateful Heads, a non-profit Andy Taylor founded in 2012 to give cancer patients colorful headgear.

He came up with the idea after tie-dying a beanie for a friend's mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I was showing my parents what I had done and my mom looked at that and said that would have been perfect for her, that's where the idea was born. Grateful Heads, actually the name came up that night, everything and it just went from there," Andy explained.

Andy worked creating head pieces in numerous places before Heidi invited him to work in her store and now she and her employees create for the cause.

"Each piece has to be soaked in solution ahead of time to be able to take the color. Then you've got to figure out what design you're going to put on it if you are, so there is a lot of thought and effort that goes into it," Heidi said.

Since 2012, Grateful Heads has distributed thousands of tie-died scarves, hats and bandanas.

Andy has even shipped to a cancer center in Texas.

He recalls seeing one woman in Roanoke wearing his donated gear.

"We are proud of the work we do. I wish we didn't have to do it, so seeing her with that hat on that day she made me realize she'd gone through some tough stuff so, but hopefully the little bit of color we gave her helped her through it," he said.

"I can imagine being stripped of, you know, hair is something we express ourselves with. We style it, we color it, we play with it, I dread it and being stripped of the ability to do that, yeah, I'm going to sport some color instead if I have that opportunity sure," Heidi explained.

Just like the patients getting the creations each one is different and unique its own way.

About the Author:

After working and going to school in Central Virginia for over five years, Lindsey’s made her way back home to the mountains.