Giving. Helping others who are less fortunate. It’s a discussion we’ve had a lot in the house. It’s wired into our makeup to think of ourselves and our own universe first. And while yes, Ellie and Ronin are my world, I want them to know that they are not the only world.
It’s not necessarily about donating money, especially at their ages. It’s about finding ways that they themselves can contribute to our world, like Mommy and Daddy do. For example, I’ve often talked to them about donating the toys they don’t play with for kids who don’t have them. For example, rather than having a garage sale (like they wanted to do this summer) and getting a few bucks to buy even more stuff, they should give their toys to charity.
Or I’ve had them help me pick out new toys for children at Christmas time who might otherwise not have presents under the tree like they do. I’ve also talked to them about how I donate my time to important causes, and hope that one day they’ll follow suit. But until then I love when they can learn a lesson by giving in their own way, like donating hair.
This week Ellie was scheduled to get a hair cut. She’s been growing it out for a long time.
She’s always said she wanted it long, but then one day she decided she wanted a change. It occurred to me that this was a great opportunity to teach her about helping others with her own gifts. I searched the American Cancer Society web site for recommendations on reputable organizations for donating hair. I had recently heard that Locks of Love charges children and adults for the wigs they create, so I knew I needed to do my research. Plus I wasn’t sure if Ellie had enough hair. Some organizations require 11 or 12 inches.
We found these two organizations recommended by the American Cancer Society:
Wigs for Kids: Provides wigs for children 18 years and younger dealing with hair loss due to cancer treatments, alopecia trichotillomania, burns and other conditions.
Hair Donation Requirements:
- Hair must be a minimum of 12 inches
- Hair cannot be chemically processed or colored and they do not accept gray hair
Pantene Beautiful Lengths: Provides wigs to adult women undergoing cancer treatments. The wigs are distributed through select American Cancer Society wig banks, free of charge to women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
Hair Donation Requirements:
- Hair must be a minimum of 8 inches
- Hair cannot be chemically processed or colored and they accept hair that is no more than 5 percent gray
We chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths because Ellie had about 9 inches of hair to donate. She wanted her hair cut to reach her shoulders.
I was so nervous about her getting it cut so short. You know how kids are! They say they want do something and then change their minds after the fact. I’m actually the same way when it comes to getting my own hair cut. I often regret it. But she was so excited to have it done, and donate her hair to help another. Of course I had to document the process. I was so very proud of her.
Even when she has long hair, she never wants long bangs, so she always requests that they’re cut super short.
We’ve been going to the same stylist Katy at Bella & Max in Country Village since Ronin was a baby, so she definitely knows what Ellie likes! She was surprised Ellie wanted such a drastic cut as well. But when all was said and done, Ellie was so happy!
I admit, while I did love her long hair it was a pain in the butt to keep up and this short new do is just adorable and perfect for a my sweet big girl who’s starting Kindergarten soon.
I’ve always wanted to donate my own hair but unfortunately I’ve had gray hair since my late teens and it’s always been color-treated. So it makes me proud that Ellie was brave enough to share this gift with another. I have one sweet girl.