by Kimberly Barton
Valentine’s Day is usually filled with love, candy, flowers and other “forget-me-nots.” But this year, Glendale Community College’s club Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán will be hosting an special event for the day—Locks of Love.
Locks of Love was founded in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 1998, and is a non-profit organization designed to help financially disadvantaged children who are living with the daily trials of medical hair loss. It also strives to help children regain their confidence and sense of normalcy.
“[Selecting} the month of February [for this event] was no accident. The approval of Valentine’s Day on the other hand, was a complete surprise to us,” Frankie Candia said. The event takes place at the GCC Center Mall from 1-3 p.m.
M.E.Ch.A became involved with Locks of Love through some of their current members who have donated their hair in the past.
It was decided this organization would be a great way to involve the campus and the outside community in helping to raise awareness and to donate.
As far as community involvement goes, there is already a buzz on campus.
“We have several people showing interest in donating, and we do have a few M.E.Ch.A members [who] are participating. Our president, Karla Respardo, and Wendy Respardo were the first to sign up,” Candia said.
Chad Harvey of North Phoenix was thrilled when his daughter, Keylee decided to donate her hair to Locks of Love.
“I was very proud of my nine year old for doing that,” said Harvey, “It was great to see a child so willing to give up something of hers to another child in need.”
A GCC student questioned the cost of the hair pieces, thinking they were very expensive.
According to Locks of Love’s website, the hair pieces and repairs are free of charge, or on a sliding scale based on the family income. The retail value of the hair piece is approximately $3,500.
A hair piece consists of a custom, vacuum-fitted piece, made entirely from donated human hair. The vacuum fit is designed for the children who have experiences total loss of scalp hair, they do not require the use of tape or glue.
Some of the guidelines for donation of hair are the following: Hair must be at least 10 inches long; clean, dry and bundled as a braid or ponytail; cannot be bleached (highlighted hair usually contains bleach).
However, Locks of Love does also accept monetary donations and they are tax-deductible. You can also sponsor a child for $1,000. Both male and female children can be recipients.
By having local, community events, Locks of Love hopes to gain more awareness and encourage people to continue donation throughout the years M.E.Ch.A is looking for donations of at least 10 inches of acceptable hair; those who donate will receive a free hair styling upon cut.
If interested in the Locks of Love event taking place on campus, you can contact Frankie Candia at 623-755-3336.