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Elmira girl, 4, happy to make her first donation

Cali Felder is all smiles after having her long tresses cut for in support of Locks of Love. [Veronica Reiner / The Observer]

Four-year-old Elmira girl Cali Felder made the decision herself to give the majority of her long mane to Locks of Love, a children’s hair-loss charity. Cali donated 14 inches at Destiny’s Loft in Elmira on May 16.

“I’m going to donate my hair so other people can have it,” she said on the topic. “So more people have it.”

The non-profit organization Locks of Love provides wigs to financially disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term hair loss for any medical diagnosis. The majority of children they help have alopecia, a condition that has no known cause or cure.

“So like, her whole thing about this is, hair doesn’t make you who you are,” explained her mother, Ashley Felder. “But to be able to give to someone else, what you have and don’t need, that’s kind of been her goal.”

Her mother explained there are several advantages to this endeavour.

“It’s kind of a two-part thing,” Ashley Felder said. “The first part is she literally has the longest hair I’ve ever seen a four-year-old have, which is awesome. People always comment on how much they love her hair. But then the problem is she feels like she’s only associated with her hair and that she doesn’t really have an identity. So, for the past year she’s been kind of upset that she’s really good at art and sports but she’s not noticed for it. So, she’s been asking, you know, ‘can I chop it off?’ We’ve also had a couple cancer scares with grandparents and family members. And so we’ve always been pretty open with the kids telling them about what that means and going through chemotherapy, they might lose their hair. So she heard that you can actually donate hair and that’s like all she’s wanted to do now. That’s all she talks about.”

The inspiration for the idea came from a Brooklyn Kaufman, a six-year-old Waterloo girl who donated her hair to charity in 2017.

“Her whole thing about this is, hair doesn’t make you who you are,” said Ashley Felder. “But to be able to give to someone else, what you have and don’t need, that’s kind of been her goal.

Anyone interesting in learning more about the charity can visit www.locksoflove.org.

 

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