By Allie Matofsky
When someone donates their hair, they get the chance to have a major impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and that is why hair donation is so important. It gives those who have lost their hair to cancer or another illness a part of themselves back.
I started Haircuts for Hope in order to educate Stern students about the importance of hair donation, and to inspire them to donate. The goal of the club is to emphasize the significance of hair donation both for the donor and recipient.
One of our events featured the viewing of Mondays at Racine, a documentary about a hair salon where, every Monday morning, it would only be open for cancer patients. The movie goes into the lives of a few of the women who went to the salon and discussed how much having a wig meant to them. After the movie, the club had a discussion about what it means for a woman to lose her hair.
Additionally, the events we have throughout the semester are meant to educate the student body about the value of hair donation, even if they decide not to donate their hair. One of our other events was a panel where Stern students who have donated their hair discussed why it was so important to them to donate their hair, and why they continue to donate.
At the end of last year, the club met for a hair donation event. At the event, five Stern students donated their hair to Zichron Menachem, an organization in Israel for cancer patients.
I have always been very passionate about hair donation. I have donated my hair many times in the past. One of my most memorable hair donations was in high school, the first time I donated my hair with a group of people. Many students, as well as children of faculty members, joined together to donate their hair to Zichron Menachem. I remember how the whole salon was devoted to this event. We got t-shirts and were able to come together to contribute to the cause.
The unity I experienced that day is one of the reasons why I started Haircuts for Hope. I believe that there is something special about doing mitzvot with a group of people, rather than individually. Our hair donation events do exactly that. We come together to do a mitzvah and to contribute to a great cause.
One of the reasons the club is called Haircuts for Hope is because the goal of the club is exactly that — hope. When a person donates their hair, they are giving someone else the message that that they are not alone, that they have people supporting them, and that they deserve to feel beautiful.
Something I always think to myself, when donating my hair, is that this hair is going towards a meaningful purpose. I admit that donating hair is not easy, and sometimes my hair comes out shorter than I would have liked. That being said, I believe my hair is worth much more to the person I’m donating it to.
If you are interested in donating your hair for the spring semester, please email Allie Matofsky at: firstname.lastname@example.org.