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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

It’s a hairy situation

July 11, 2014

20140605_121257bIf you are like most females, your hair is your signature trademark. Whether spiked, a smooth line to the jaw, pink-tipped, a mass of curls or hula girl long, your hair is likely your crowning glory.

So what would possess Career Services Advisor, Devon Dilley and Admissions Advisor, Marissa Marzan at the Fresno campus to make a grab for the scissors? Locks of Love.

Locks of Love is a not-for-profit organization that utilizes donated hair and financial contributions to provide hairpieces to disadvantaged children under age 21 with medical hair loss. Hairpieces are custom-made for each child’s head and are vacuumed-fitted so that recipients can swim, shower and do gymnastics – essentially be kids again, with their gifts of human hair wigs.

Locks of Love accepts clean, non-bleached hair in braided ponytails at least 10” long. It takes at least six ponytails to make a single wig that would retail for about $3,500 for a custom, vacuum-fitted hairpiece.

Devon and Marissa thought it would be brilliant for SJVC to raise some serious money for such a great cause. So, they challenged the Fresno campus to raise $1,000 in just three weeks. If their fundraising was successful, both Devon and Marissa would agree to be chopped. The American Medical Technologists club and Student Council members took the challenge and got to work planning fundraisers.

The campus was in a flurry of activities: Jeans Days, alumni license plate sales (held advantageously at SJVC’s graduation reception) and a raffle for a gift-filled basket were in the line-up. With last minute contributions to the pot by those really wanting to see Devon and Marissa with a buzz cut, the total just tipped $1,000.

AMT club president, “Lisa, headed up the fundraisers and took personal time to make sure we hit our goal,” says Devon. “Her daughter is in first grade and wants to donate her hair. It really touches our heart that the word gets spread to even our kids.”

Spectator chairs were placed around the outside patio for sheer pleasure.

Shanna, a local stylist, donated her time to expertly braid, snip and calm a weakened heart.  There was no going back, and no second thoughts.

“It’s fun to be able to donate something more than just a check,” says Devon. “It’s something you can afford that everybody can do, and it makes you feel good.” Easier to say when you lose all of that weighty hair on a 107 degree day.

Locks of Love got some quality merchandise that day. “Neither of us had ever dyed our hair in all our lives, so we actually had pretty healthy hair to give them,” says Marissa.

Devon donated four 12” braids and Marissa gave up three 13” and two 12” braids. That is 111” of slow-grown, silky goodness straight to some kids who are going to do some sassy hair flips because of Devon and Marissa’s kindness and generosity.

Both Devon and Marissa are happy things turned out the way they did and credit SJVC students, staff and faculty with rallying around this cause.

“Both Devon and I have a mutual friend connected to SJVC who has recently gone through cancer treatment and hair loss; and that was the deciding factor for us to donate,” says Marissa. “We thought it would be nice to give more than money, and we had the ability to do that.”

It may be a little while before Devon and Marissa make another such personal donation. “We won’t be doing this again, at least for another three years – it takes that long to grow out,” they laugh in unison.

It looks as though there will be no more hair tosses in their immediate future. “Oh, that will still happen,” promises Marissa, who still has shoulder length tresses.