Students donate hair to less fortunate

Serene Reinholz

Serene Reinholz

If students are looking to chop off some hair and donate it to a good cause, they are in luck, because UPC has decided to hold its second annual Locks of Love night.

Meghan O’Connor, the community service coordinator of the event, thinks this is a great opportunity for students to get involved. Three years ago she donated 12 inches of hair to Locks of Love.

Volunteers will be able to have at least 10 inches of hair cut off to be donated to Locks of Love organization.

A few students around campus have had some experience with the process.

LaDawn Dykstra, a freshman animal science major, said she first donated 12 inches of hair when she was a freshman in high school and 13 inches of hair the summer of her senior year. It was a personal experience for her since she has had two aunts and a grandma who suffered from chemotherapy and lost their hair. She heard about it through one of her cousins and decided it would be something meaningful for her to participate.

Dykstra said the best part of donating was just knowing she was helping someone.

“When my aunts went through chemotherapy, they were only in their 40s and it was a big deal for them to lose their hair,” said Dykstra. “I can’t imagine not having my hair.”

Whitney Watts, a sophomore communication affairs major, also had a personal reason to donate. She knew the girl who would be receiving her hair.

“When I saw the ponytail cut off, it made me cry because I was losing my hair, but the fact that it was going to such a great cause and the fact that I was really helping someone else really hit me,” said Watts.

The Locks of Love event will take place on Feb. 22 at the Performing Arts Center. Last year, a total of 25 feet of hair was donated.

The movie New Moon will be shown while donors’ hair is being cut. The event is free to all participants. Non-students are encouraged to participate as well as watch.

If students would like to donate to a good cause and have fun while they are at it, contact Meghan O’Connor at 688-6173. The UPC is still looking for volunteers to sign up and will be accepting people up until the week of the event.

Also, if students’ hair is not quite long enough to meet the Locks of Love hair length requirement, students can have up to eight inches of hair donated to the Pantene Beautiful Length organization.

“Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis,” according to the Locks of Love Web site. “(We) meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics.”

The Web site also said that most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure.

“This is a really new and interesting way to positively affect the community,” O’Connor said. “It’s a different way to give back rather than just doing a couple hours of community service.”