Next Sunday, Shear Obsessions Salon will be bustling with customers vying for haircuts – or at least that’s the hope of students at Weehawken High School.
The High School Peer Leadership group has been working fervently on a fundraiser for Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
What makes the program unique is that the organization uses donated hair to create high quality hair prosthetics.
Seventh-grader Bonnie Callahan will be cutting her hair for the first time ever at the event, giving up about 11 inches of her long blonde locks.
“I’m excited,” said Callahan. “It’ll grow. It just seems like a good thing to do.”
“When you’re little or growing up, [hair] is such a big deal.” – Phyllis Duffy
Phyllis Duffy, a junior, said it’s great to be part of an event that’s going to help build self confidence for others.
“When you’re little or growing up, [hair] is such a big deal,” she said.
The giving spirit
Even those who aren’t donating their hair have found their own way to pitch in for the effort. Several students have joined the “recruiting” process to get others to donate their hair and many are volunteering to be at the salon the day of the event to support those getting hair cuts.
The students will be collecting ponytails and using music and decorations to create a ‘feel-good’ vibe for those in the chair and to attract more donors.
Others have stepped up to bake delicious goodies which will be sold to raise funds to be donated to Locks of Love.
Free treats will also be provided to those sacrificing their locks for the cause.
And many of those who haven’t grown their hair out long enough to donate it yet are planning on doing so and donating it separately.
The giving spirit seems to be a common state of mind at the high school where many students are happy to concentrate on the job at hand instead of counting community service hours.
Although Peer Leadership students are required to give 40 hours of service as part of their involvement with the group, all of the students said that 40 hours flies past so quickly they don’t even realize it.
“It’s a big part of my life now,” said Christopher Munguia, a freshman who has been participating in some form of a peer leadership group since fourth grade.
A joint effort between faculty and students
Beyond just the student base, the fundraiser for Locks of Love has really been a diverse effort between the students and faculty.
Some faculty members have been growing out their hair for a couple of years in order to participate.
Christine Mantaneo, an English teacher who cuts every year in the summer, said it was “very hot” this year over the break while she continued growing her hair out for the event this fall.
Teacher Laura Sciortino, who helps run the Peer Leadership group, has also been growing out her hair for years and was the impetus behind the special fundraiser.
“Locks of Love has always been near and dear to me,” said Sciortino. “I hope the kids will feel really good about the personal contribution of their time”
Sciortino began researching organizations like Locks of Love when one of her students and a former Peer Leadership member died of cancer a few years ago.
Though that particular student, Jennifer Abad, didn’t lose her hair, Sciortino said it was Jennifer who was the inspiration for the project.
The Locks of Love Fundraiser event sponsored by the Peer Leadership group of Weehawken High School will be held on Oct. 24 at Shear Obsessions Salon, 1200 Harbor Blvd. in Lincoln Harbor Mall.
Anyone is welcome to participate by scheduling an appointment or walking in the day of the event.
The blunt cut from the ponytail is free, but if additional styling is desired it will cost extra.
For more information contact Laura Sciortino at email@example.com or to make an appointment, call the salon directly at (201) 864-1611.
Lana Rose Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.