Jersey City, NJ – For many teenagers, cutting off ten inches of hair is a huge change that they are not willing to embrace. However, thirty-nine (39) Dickinson High School Students not only welcomed the change but did it with “Love” as locks of hair were donated to the “Locks of Love” not-for-profit organization. As many would expect, some tears where shed.
The Locks of Love organization utilizes donated hair and resources to provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of eighteen with medical hair loss. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need. Donated hair must be at least ten inches in length and bundled in a pony-tail or braid to be useable.
After donating ten inches of her own hair last summer, Sinead Maguire, a teacher at DHS, realized interest in the program grew among students. As a result of that interest, students formed a Locks of Love Club (coordinated by Maguire) which became involved in actively recruiting volunteers to donate hair and fundraising for the organization.
The club arranged an after school charity event on Monday June 4th where members led volunteers to “Total Image Beauty Academy”, a small business on the Central Avenue main street, to cut the ten inches of hair being donated. Forty four (44) haircuts were given including DHS students, two teachers, two moms, a little sister, and even a Total Image employee.
“I am so proud of the girls and boys that donated their hair” said Maguire. “It is a very traumatic event for these teenagers to part with something that is as important to them as their hair. They have truly made a contribution that will make a difference.”
Total Image Beauty Academy provided the cuts free of charge. Marta Font (owner) and Mercedes Guzman (director) had approximately twenty of their employees help out with the event. “Martha and Mercedes were very instrumental in making this a success” Maguire proclaimed. “The men and women at Total Image Beauty Academy were very professional and accommodating. They did a wonderful job taking care of everyone. They cut the ponytails and then gave each person a beautiful hairstyle to go with summer!”
Font, who jumped at the opportunity to assist in this event, described the experience as “rewarding.” In reaction to the students she said “I am glad that I got to see first hand the good that DHS students are doing. They are all wonderful people for doing this.” She went on to add that the longest ponytail donation was from DHS Junior Dharti Patel who donated seventeen (17) inches.
In addition to the ponytails obtained at the event, an additional twenty (20) ponytails where collected from other students and teachers. “Locks of Love will be receiving a total of sixty four (64) hair donations and a monetary donation of approximately $750 from DHS making this event a huge success” said Maguire. “I am proud to be a teacher at Dickinson High School.”
Central Avenue SID President Michael Yun commented on the event by saying “It is great to see local students taking an interest in helping others and setting the standard for today’s youth in Jersey City. Total Image Beauty Academy did right by encouraging their efforts. This is a great example of how a small business can get involved with community initiatives and capitalize on being a good neighbor.”
To learn more about the Locks of Love organization, please visit their website: www.locksoflove.org.