Tutus, and fairy wings, and nail polish… oh my!
When you were little, did your mom ever take you to get your nails done? Or maybe she had her own nail appointment but said, “okay honey, you can get your nails painted too,” and the sheer excitement of having a PROFESSIONAL paint your nails was so enthralling that you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the entirety of the appointment and likely for the whole day? And then at school when someone mentioned your nails you got to tell them that a PROFESSIONAL had done them… maybe like it was nothing but inside you were totally beaming? Okay maybe your mom didn’t take you but you’ve taken yourself and seen a child be offered this very same opportunity and you likely smiled knowing how happy that kid was. So… that’s why I became the Nail Fairy at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, and every time I walk into a room to paint a child’s nails, I get to witness that level of excitement. I’m not even going to lie, it totally rocks!
Alright, let me rewind. Back in 2014 I remembered all those warm fuzzies I felt seeing kids get their nails done, and I decided to contact the local Children’s Hospital to see if I could marry my love of painting nails with my love for helping people, and thankfully they too fell in love with my idea! Of course it isn’t as simple as painting nails at a nail salon as precautionary protocols had to be put in place considering all the different health conditions in a hospital. Luckily, my suggestion of opening a new bottle for each child was well received (and the child got to keep the bottle making it an even more exciting visit!)
And don’t you worry, I didn’t forget the boys! Little boys love the Nail Fairy too… well maybe not for nails, but they’ll never turn down temporary tattoos; showing off your guns is WAY cooler with a fake tattoo. Obviously.
Not to knock any of the other volunteers (because donating your time is invaluable), but you’ll never see a kid light up as much as they do when a lady in a tutu and fairy wings shows up! Their happiness is truly contagious and changing their moods for even just a little bit is worth the time I put into being the Nail Fairy.
Of course it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, seeing children struggle is really really tough, and seeing their moms is rough too. For that reason, whenever I get the opportunity I also offer to paint the moms’ nails so that they may have a brief moment of relief from the situation in front of them. Painted nails isn’t exactly medicine, but a break from their reality… even just a moment to look down and see pretty nails, can make all the difference!
I won South Sound magazine’s 2015 Citizen of the Year Award, I’ve been the subject of multiple magazine articles, and I was even on the news a couple of times! I mean not to toot my own horn but **toot toot.** I’m not the only one who thinks being the Nail Fairy is probably the coolest job ever! The idea I had back in 2014 has been life-changing to say the least, and I hope inspiring to others as well. Find out if you can be a Nail Fairy at your local hospital… you certainly won’t regret it. And if you’re interested in helping my efforts, I’m always looking for donations of unused nail polish, nail art stickers, temporary tattoos, and any nail-related supplies as I see 30 to 50 kids per month and quickly go through my supplies. Remember, each child gets a bottle of nail polish as a gift! You may also be surprised to know how many kids want to be a fairy just like me, so donations of fairy wings are also welcomed! Please send donations to: PO Box 363, Tacoma, WA 98402.
To conclude this fairytale (get it?? Fairy-tale haha), a sick child’s day will never be made brighter than filled with big smiles, puffy tutus, delicate fairy wings, and glitter nail polish (or whichever they choose). As we enter the New Year, remember to turn those ideas you’ve been sitting on into reality… you never know how much a small dream put into action could make all the difference in someone’s life.