Growing up with love that was very much based on conditions, Megan Sievers is doing her best to show unconditional love to those who need it.
And now some love has been shown to her through a community makeover facilitated by Waikanae hairdresser Renee McNeil.
Living a rough life from birth, Megan was adopted out when she was young, lived with abuse, escaping it to be a solo mum of four and on top of that has had a number of health issues including a battle with stage 2 melanoma while trying to raise her four children by herself.
Providing for her kids and with little to live off themselves, Megan found there were always people worse off than her.
Seeing the popular soft polar fleece blankets you can buy from the supermarket, a year ago Megan took to buying a stack of them and hand sewing two together to create warmer, thicker blankets.
She then took them into Wellington with her to give them to the homeless.
"It's something little, I'm not a perfectionist or a great sewer but putting the two together with love, while it sounds a bit cheesy, is something I can do," Megan said.
"When my ex-husband moved out, he took everything, we came to the point where me and my two oldest children were nearly homeless.
"It was the last hour, packed up ready to go before something came through for us.
"So I kind of know what it's like to feel a little bit homeless and I just had this heart of passion to give to them.
"I always drive away with a sense of peace, knowing that even though I've got nothing, I've got enough."
Another example of Megan's giving heart is when she was in Wellington one cold night and a lady in just shorts and a T-shirt asked for her for her Kathmandu puffer jacket.
Without a second thought Megan gave it to her.
"When I got home my daughter was like, 'mum what did you give that away for, you need it', and I said, 'at the end of the day I can go home to a warm house and hot water while she's in the cold in a T-shirt'.
"When I give, my intentions are to give and walk away and whatever that person does with what's given is what they do, it's not my concern, it's unconditional.
"I grew up with conditions attached and now I just give, even if the blankets end up on park benches I can drive away knowing that I've done something for someone."
Hearing about Renee McNeil's annual community makeover for a deserving woman in the Kāpiti community, Shirley Smith nominated Megan for the makeover complete with hair, makeup and nails.
The nomination came at the perfect time.
"When I called Megan she was having 'a moment' at the beach," Renee said.
"Every time I do a makeover their first reaction is 'why me?' and often they say no, so I have to convince them pretty quickly this is for them."
"I don't even own a mirror so this was really out of my comfort zone," said Megan who was overwhelmed when she first saw herself in the mirror after the makeover.
"Words are powerful and I've had so much verbal abuse thrown at me in my life but when I saw myself after the makeover that day I was like 'I'm worthy, I'm worthy of being loved and accepted, and I'm beautiful'."
It took the external makeover with help from Renee to show Megan she was worthy and beautiful on the inside too.
"Renee kept saying to me 'now can you see what other people see in you?'
I felt so beautiful."
Topped off by a speechless reaction from her two sons when she walked in the door at home later that day, Megan has since gained a lot more self-confidence.
"What I got out of it is that you can be any shape, size, race or height and be from any kind of background but it's what's on the inside that counts."