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Community service alternatives

Hair donation through organizations like Locks of Love is one of many ways to serve your community (H. Baldacci).
Hair donation through organizations like Locks of Love is one of many ways to serve your community (H. Baldacci).

Walking through the halls, I bet you’ve seen them. Even if you don’t know it, they’re probably there. Girls (and guys) who’ve changed their whole appearance in a matter of minutes. Maybe they’re reaching up to pin their hair into a ponytail, forgetting that it’s not there anymore because they’ve donated it to an organization like Locks of Love.

Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that makes wigs for children suffering from any kind of medical hair loss, requires ten inches of unbleached hair from donations in order to compile their wigs. Other organizations that are popular for hair donations are Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which requires only eight inches and is specifically for women with cancer, and Wigs for Kids, which helps the same demographic as Locks of Love, but requires a more substantial 12 inches.

While cutting your hair for organizations like Locks of Love definitely requires bravery (and lots of hair clips), it’s also a great alternative for students who are too busy to devote their time to community service.

“You need to be willing to spend a lot of time [serving],” said sophomore Sarah Palecki, who currently has about 200 service hours. “You have to put a real effort into it, but I love the feeling you get when you give back to the community.”

Some students don’t have time for hours away from sports, school, and homework, and should realize that there are other ways to help their community despite their busy schedule. Waiting a year or two for your hair to grow may sound time consuming, but does it take any time out of your day?

For people not willing to wait so long, there are other hair donation organizations that accept shorter lengths of hair and put it towards other purposes.

Junior Kaitlyn Lyngaas donated her hair through a program that used hair donations to soak up oil from the 2010 BP oil spill in the gulf.

“I was sad [to have my hair cut], but it felt good at the same time,” said Lyngaas.

Another alternative is donating blood, which many Huntley High School students, like junior Akshay Patil, have done at the student council’s blood drives.

“I just felt like I should,” said Patil. “If they use the blood I donated, I might have saved a life.”

Another benefit of donating is that if you donate four times or more, you receive a Red Cord (much like the Silver Cord service award) to wear on your cap at graduation.

“I would definitely recommend donating to other people,” said Patil.

Helping your community isn’t hard. You don’t need to devote hours of your time, although if you can, then that’s always a great option. You just need to be willing to put half an hour aside for a haircut or blood donation.


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