By Bobbi Siekierke, Parent, Copperas Cove, TX
Abstract: A mother shares her daughter’s commitment to helping others through donating her hair to Locks of Love.
Keywords: Family Wisdom, deafblindness, volunteerism, giving back, Locks of Love
It was finally time!
After two years, Katy’s hair had once again grown long enough to meet the minimum requirements needed to make another donation to Locks of Love.
Locks of Love, headquartered in Lake Wake, Florida, takes donations of ponytails and braids and turns them into natural-hair wigs, also called hair prosthetics. These prosthetics are given to youngsters in need of hairpieces to cover their scalps left bare by disease or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. The public, non-profit organization provides the hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children, under age 18, in the United States and Canada. For more details on the organization and how to make a hair or monetary donation, visit <http://www.locksoflove.org>.
Katy Easler, now age 20, first got the idea to donate her hair roughly six years ago when her then-intervener, Kathy Hefner, donated some two feet of hair to the cause.
For nearly three years after Kathy arrived at school with her new hairdo, Katy would only allow her bangs to be cut. Each time she went in for a trim, Katy asked that her ponytail be measured. By the time the summer of 2005 rolled around Katy’s mane had grown long enough to provide a 12-inch donation and leave her enough tresses for a cute pixie cut.
As soon as the padded envelope of hair was taken to the post office, Katy started talking about growing her hair again for another donation. So she was delighted when her hair was long enough this summer to pay another visit to Miss Debbie at Classy Cuts and Styles in Copperas Cove. The salon is one of dozens across Texas that have agreed to follow the steps needed to properly cut hair. A list of participating salons in each state is available at the Locks of Love website. The ponytails or braids must be secured with bands and placed in a plastic bag. The hair can not touch the floor. Miss Debbie does not charge clients who are donating their hair to Locks of Love.
When asked why she wants to cut her hair and mail it to Florida, Katy signs, “To help the sick girls get wigs.” Posted on the wall of her bedroom are two sets of photographs printed from the Locks of Love website; one shows a gallery of hair prosthetics recipients and the other photos are of people, like Katy, who have donated.
This school year Katy, who is deaf-blind due to C.H.A.R.G.E. association, is sporting her new look on the campus of the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin. She is attending the Transition Program as she prepares for her life ahead. It’s a safe bet that her life ahead will include growing out her hair, once again, to help other girls and boys who are suffering with hair loss.