After watching her best friend’s mother deal with the self-consciousness associated with hair loss from her cancer treatment, Susan Zhou wanted to do something to help others in a similar position.
Zhou, an Owensboro junior, is organizing a Locks of Love event to take place on March 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Downing University Center courtyard, between DUC and Minton Hall.
A bill that would provide $420 in funding to the event received its first read on Tuesday at the Student Government Association meeting.
Students will have the opportunity to donate their hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that creates hairpieces for people under 21 with conditions that can result in hair loss or cancer.
There will be a bake sale during the event and possibly a live show.
“All of this is happening all at once,” Zhou said.
Kari Payne, a stylist, will be at the event to cut hair. The guidelines for donation are: hair has to be at least 10 inches long. hair must be in a ponytail or braid and hair must be clean and dry. Hair can be highlighted or colored, but not bleached, according to Locks of Love’s website.
Because of her friend’s mother’s hair loss, Zhou was self-conscious that people would realize she wore a wig.
“The way I see it is: It has to be harder for children just because, you know, you have to deal with your peers,” She said.
Zhou hopes that helping children get hairpieces will instill confidence in them so they will be better able to deal with their illness.
“It’s just, like, my little contribution,” she said.
Zhou will be donating her own hair and so far has about three or four girls who will be donating as well.
Natalie Broderick, SGA student affairs committee head, said initially SGA will only fund the event, but she will give senators the option to volunteer and possibly get service hours.
“I think Locks of Love is a great foundation to support but also helping a student raise money for a non-profit organization they are passionate (about) is important too,” Broderick said.
Zhou is going around the community with fliers, doing radio interviews and going to organizations to spread the word. She has also created a Facebook page for the event.
She’s selling $12 T-shirts for the event, and if SGA does help fund the event, their logo could be put on the shirts. The proceeds will go to Locks of Love.
One of Zhou’s sorority sisters from Alpha Gamma Delta, Louisville freshman Elizabeth Gribbins, is helping plan the event.
“She just said, ‘Hey, I have this idea — do you want to be involved?’” Gribbins said.
Gribbins said they “got the ball rolling” and it’s been a lot of fun so far.
There will be a benefit night at Stakz on Feb. 28, as well as possible benefit nights at other restaurants on future dates.
The main items that Zhou will need to pay for are renting a tent from Campus Activities Board, fliers and magazine advertisements.
Donation jars will be at the WKU bookstore and possibly at Aramark locations.