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March 6, 2009

Locks of Love

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

After the Mother Bear Project Extra Ink a few weeks ago, we received several

e-mails from teens who want to help charities, but don't have a lot of money or time to

commit. Teens' lives seem to get more and more hectic every day--but luckily, there are

charities out there who need your help, and you don't need to spend a cent or sign up for

any volunteer hours.

One of those charities is Locks of Love, an organization that helps children who have lost their hair due to long-term or terminal diseases and their treatments. Locks

of Love offers high-quality, human hair wigs to these children at no cost--wigs that would

otherwise sell for $3,500-$6,000. All you need to do to help these kids out is get a

haircut! Locks of Love is always looking for donors who can give them human hair for

their wigs.

This isn't just a charity for girls, of course. Boys and girls can suffer from the same

diseases, and both can also be embarrassed and ashamed by their hair loss. You don't

have to be a girl to donate your hair, either, and you don't even have to be a kid! The

charity happily accepts 'locks' of every color and texture, from any person who cares

enough to donate. In fact, the first Locks of Love donor I ever knew is a man in his


Locks of Love does have one important requirement, however. To donate, you need to be

able to give up at least a ten-inch length of hair. So while you don't have to spend

money or donate your time, you may have to be a little patient to donate to this charity.

If your hair is already long enough, just consider yourself ahead of the game!

Of course, many people grow attached to their long hair, and find the idea of a haircut

terrifying. For you guys, I have two thoughts to consider. The first is a personal

story: I grew my hair out from age 11 to age 19, never cutting it beyond the occasional

trim. I eventually decided it was time for a change, but I found my long style hard to

part with. I eventually got the cut--and let me tell you, my head felt about ten pounds

lighter! Since then, it's been easier to style, healthier, and way less painful to brush

and comb. The compliments from my friends were a nice plus, too.

But mostly, I want you to think about those kids who've lost all their hair. You might

be traumatized by the thought of trading in your long mane for a cute bob . . . but just

imagine how it would feel to lose every bit of hair on your head to a disease over which

you have no control. That?s what the Locks of Love kids are dealing with right now. And

while cures for these diseases might not yet be within our reach, with a simple haircut,

you can make a real difference in these kids' lives.

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