Last week, after a number of years of growing out my hair, it was time to cut it off. More than 10 inches were cut off in four separate pony tails, to be donated to Locks of Love.
I've been watching this month as all of my friends have been posting on Facebook what they are thankful for this year, I thought what more is there to be thankful for than your health? I have been blessed with good health, however, not everyone is as lucky. And for the children that deal with illness every day - this year, next year, and any year that came before this one or that will come in the future, that is why I grow out and cut my hair for donation.
This is not the first time I've made the big cut for donation, either. My first time I did as an impulse in college. Once of the other students had organized a Beautiful Lengths hair drive on campus and all the inches of hair collected were donated to Beautiful Lengths in honor of Cedar Crest College's late president, Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney, who died of cancer. I never met anyone who didn't adore Blaney, she was welcoming, friendly, and every day, even the dead of winter, she walked from the president's house at the end of campus to the administration building at the center of campus: Smiling, saying hello, and talking to everyone she encountered on the quarter-mile walk.
A few years later, I decided it was time to make the cut again, and this time, through my then local Great Clips was able to donate to Locks of Love. Great Clips does all the foot work for you, sending the pony tails to Locks of Love and the donor gets a free hair cut.
This year, with the help of skilled stylist, Nicole at Best Kept Secret in Ambler, I cut off more than 10 inches in the name of giving and thankfulness. Similar to Great Clips, Best Kept Secret does give the donor a free haircut, and owner Heidi Hallowell said they will send the ponytail to Locks of Love for you. Unlike Great Clips, where the goal is to get you in the chair and out the door as fast as possible, the experience of cutting and donating your hair at Best Kept Secret is as exciting as donating your hair, as well as personal and caring.
For those unfamiliar with Locks of Love and Beautiful Lengths, there are similarities and differences. With Locks of Love, donations go towards wigs for children with cancer or who are suffering other forms of hair loss and require at least 10 inches of hair in a pony tail. On the other hand, Beautiful Lengths, which is a program through Pantene, uses donations to make wigs for adult women who have cancer and only require 8 inches.
I've met others who have donated to either Locks of Love or Beautiful Lengths, and they all have their own reason to make the cut. A couple of young girls shared their story on Ambler Patch last year, how they wanted to help children their age who were dealing with cancer and hair loss. Others donate because cancer has touched their family.
This year, I donate my hair because I am thankful for my health and want to show, not just share, what I am thankful for.
Tell us: What are you thankful for this year?