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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Locks of love

  • My daughter, Maddie, has been growing her hair out for at least the past 18 months to donate to a charitable cause. Last Friday she couldn’t have been more excited to cut her hair.
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  • My daughter, Maddie, has been growing her hair out for at least the past 18 months to donate to a charitable cause. Last Friday she couldn’t have been more excited to cut her hair.
     
    Maddie, who is 9, said she donates her hair because she is just trying to help kids in need who have lost their hair. The charity uses donated hair to make hairpieces for kids who have lost their hair due to long-term medical hair loss.
     
    Maddie donated 11 inches of hair. But this isn’t her first rodeo. The summer between second and third grade she donated 13 inches to Locks of Love.
     
    For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Locks of Love, it is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who suffer from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
     
    We are not sure where exactly Maddie got this idea. She came home one day several years ago saying she would like to donate her hair to Locks of Love. I had heard about it, but I had to research how to go about fulfilling Maddie’s idea.
     
    From my research I learned from the Locks of Love website that the hair prosthetics Locks of Love provides are custom-made from donated ponytails for each child’s head. The hairpiece forms a vacuum seal, like a suction cup, and does not require the use of tape or glue.
     
    Children who receive these hair pieces can swim, shower and do gymnastics.
     
    I marvel at the fact that for Maddie, helping out a complete stranger she will likely never meet nor speak to, is as natural for her as walking, talking or breathing.
     
    As adults, somewhere between childhood and adulthood we get caught up in the “wisdom of the world,” which teaches us to try to be something we are not.
     
    I’d much rather see the world through the eyes of a child. They have an innocence about them that is genuine and very real. It seems as you grow into adulthood you lose that innocence.
     
    Children have no preconceived notions because they are not tainted by experience. They say things both honestly and sincerely. They don’t ever sugar coat what they say because they have no reason to and they have not adapted that practice yet into their young lives. They are spontaneous and are very perceptive.
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    Childhood is a gift that we as parents get to enjoy in raising our children. Memories of our childhood have long passed us by. Our children give us this truly wonderful gift of living and experiencing childhood through their eyes and teaches us the whole essence of what life is all about.
     
    Innocence is a clean heart that hasn’t been stained or corrupted by our environment. For me, I long to feel the freedom I knew as a child, without the constant pressure of worry and the nagging voice of guilt that so easily robs us of our joy.
     
    A child’s vulnerability ought to stir us; we want to protect them physically and emotionally. That’s one of our most urgent drives as parents and grandparents. Sometimes we forget that children are born completely selfish, and slowly and painfully learn to make room for others in their lives.
     
    If only we could learn to do the same.
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