Club offers Mini-THON hair donations


Maddie Seiler, Reporter

Getting even a minor haircut can be intimidating or even downright terrifying, but this year at Mini-THON, Big Spring students and staff will have the opportunity to make the cut for a good cause.

Club CARE took over the hair donation portion of Mini-THON from Leadership Development classes in 2015 and intends to continue the trend this year.

Lauren Gipe, the President of Club CARE, said the club’s main goal was to “strive to help others.” Gipe said that Club CARE choose to run the hair donation portion of Mini-THON because it helped enhance the beauty of women fighting cancer. This ties into another event Club CARE runs called Operation Beautiful Week. The main purpose of the week is to encourage high school girls and build up their self esteems. Gipe said the connection between the themes of these two activities is one of the main reasons the club choose to take over hair donations.

These donations strike a personal note with Club CARE advisor, Ang Schneider. As a cancer survivor herself, Schneider truly understands how it feels to lose all of her hair. She didn’t have a wig made of authentic hair and cannot stress enough how important such donations are.

According to Schneider about 50 Big Spring Mini-THON participants chose to donate their hair, or shave it as a sign of solidarity, in 2015.  All donations go to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, an organization that collects donated hair, transforms it into wigs, and provides cancer patients who have lost their hair with wigs free of charge.

Sophomore Erin Hurley recently donated 8 inches of her hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. She said she cut it because “It got too long and I didn’t want to wait anymore, so I decided to cut it then and there.” Hurley admits that the experience was a little scary, but knowing that her sacrifice was for a good cause, she said she’d “probably do it again if it gets long enough.”

Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths have some certain requirements for donated hair. It must be a donation of at least 8 inches long, and have no dyes or bleaches. These regulations prevented students like Sylvia Russell (Class of 2016) from donating their hair at the 2015 Mini-THON. Russell explained that she dyed her hair too much so it wasn’t acceptable. However, to show her support in the fight against pediatric cancer, Russell made the decision to shave her entire head. She wanted a deeper understanding of “the struggle of someone who lost their hair because of their treatment, so I went through with it. I thought it would be a good learning experience for me, and I hoped it might humble me a bit and it definitely did.”

While Russell couldn’t actually donate her hair, and admits that she’s still rather disappointed that her hair couldn’t go to use, she said she’s “learned a lot about empathy and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” She then explained that she’s in the process of growing her hair out and trying to keep it healthy in the hopes of donating in the future.

Russell and Hurley offered the same advice to participants who may be on the fence about donating their hair, “Do it!” Hurley said, “It’s fun to switch things up a bit.”

“You might be worried about how you look, but imagine how someone with cancer feels. Do it for them; the sacrifice is well worth it!” Russell said.

For more information, speak to a Club CARE member about making the cut.