Young students a cut above

A hallway at St. Mary’s Catholic School turned into a hair salon on Thursday.
Krystle Wagner
May 24, 2013

Three stylists volunteered their time to snip away the hair from 26 students, staff and other community members. Each donated 9-11 inches of their hair for Wigs 4 Kids, an organization that makes wigs for Michigan children who have suffered hair loss from cancer and other diseases.

The event was part of Kristen Christoffersen’s fourth-grade class service project.

To see more photos from the event, CLICK HERE.

Olivia McKenna, 9, said it wasn’t the first time she her long locks cut to be used for a donation. She said she has been growing her hair out for the past two years since her last hair donation.

As stylists snipped away, the Spring Lake school's staff, students and parents gathered in the hallway to watch the transformations. Each girl was met with a round of applause once she stepped out of the chair with her shorter ‘do.

Grand Haven resident Rachel Bates joined three of her daughters in the salon chairs. Each donated about 11 inches of hair.

Bates said her daughter, Olivia, mentioned the class project and soon they all decided to jump on board — including 4-year-old Leah. Despite looking a bit nervous as her locks were chopped, the preschooler remained calm as she received her first-ever haircut.

“It’s a very memorable event,” her mother said.

Shawn Bates said it was emotional watching his wife and daughters donate their hair. He said his daughters wanted to participate so they could serve others.

“How can it benefit the kids,” he said of the family’s conversations about donating their hair.

After the cutting was done, the donors enjoyed snacks and refreshments before heading back to class.

Christoffersen said they wanted to make the day special for the girls because she wanted them to feel important in doing something for others.

“They’re all just glowing,” the teacher said. “It’s so neat to make them feel so special for a day.”

Jalanie Williams, a stylist at Natalia’s Designs and Day Spa who volunteered to help at St. Mary’s “hair salon," said she was impressed by the young girls donating their locks. Williams said it is more often older girls making the chop.

“They must have an amazing amount of selflessness,” she said.
 

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