It’s better, we’re told, to give than to receive. That sentiment may be a harder sell to young kids at Christmas, when they’re eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival and gifts stacked under the tree. In that regard, Jordyn Kelly is not any different, except the senior kindergarten student at St. Teresa School in Elmira decided she would like to give a gift back. Being five-years-old she doesn’t have a lot of money to spend, so she decided to give what she could: 11 inches of her hair.
She donated her ponytail to Locks of Love, a non-profit that provides wigs to financially disadvantaged children in Canada and the United States suffering from long-term medical hair loss. The organization’s goal is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to children.
Jordyn and her mother Heidi had been talking a lot about children suffering from cancer and having to deal with hair loss after a family friend, three-year-old Sara Forwell, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Rhabdomysarcoma, and lost all her hair due to the chemotherapy treatments she had to undergo.
“It has been a topic of conversation in our house for a while as we saw our friends go through this and seeing their little girl with no hair we explained to Jordyn what was happening,” said Heidi. “We also had other friend’s children donate their hair and (Jordyn) wanted to help out too.”
Jordyn thought she had too much hair and needed to share it wanting to give another little girl some hair for Christmas.
To donate to Locks of Love, donors must be willing to part with a minimum of 10 inches measured tip to tip as that is the length needed for a hairpiece. The hair must be in a ponytail or braid before it is cut and must be clean and completely dry before it is mailed in.
“This was a major change for Jordyn, she has always had long hair and she cut it just above her shoulders,” said Heidi, adding she was very proud of her little girl.
Jordyn went to Guys and Dolls Hair and Spa on Oriole Parkway in Elmira to donate her hair, leaving with a new hair bob that was quite the talk at her school the next day.
“A lot of the teachers and older students noticed her new hair and thought it was amazing and loved that she had cut it for Locks of Love,” said Heidi.