Written by: Shawyon Poursaba, Laurel Donley, Kassidy Borger, & Malie Dell’Orco
For years, THON™, the largest student run philanthropy in the world, has partnered with Wigs For Kids, in which they create wigs for children who had lost their hair from diseases such as cancer. THON holds hair donations throughout the year; during the 100 Days ‘Til THON event and during THON Weekend. This has allowed students the opportunity to donate their cut hair to the Four Diamond children, who are granted a wig to wear.
Donating hair to Wigs For Kids through THON’s 100 Days event is such an incredible moment to both witness and participate in. Hair donations are scheduled right before the 100 Days ‘Til THON total reveal. With this, the atmosphere is filled with excitement and high morale as students and volunteers are awaiting the total. The volunteers who are donating their hair during this event are introduced to the collective group and express their reasoning behind their decision to do so. These individuals are seen with nothing but the brightest smiles as their hair is cut. Hair donations are entirely free, but they are one of the most meaningful, symbolic, and powerful ways to make an impact during THON Weekend and the 100 Days ‘Til THON event.
It was a wonderful atmosphere for 100 Days ‘Til THON. Before the hair donations start, there is a dance line, with music coming from the THON Entertainment Committee. There are also fundraisers, merchandise sales, and different performances for student organizations. Right before the hair donations began, the hair donors were introduced and asked about how they were feeling and why they wanted to be part of this wonderful cause. Once the hair donations ended, there was an announcement of how money was raised during the Dream Forward Campaign that went on for 17 days. The total was $1,601,849.07!
Aidan Kirkland, a fourth-year student who participated in the hair donation for 100 Days ‘Til THON event, provided insight into his reasoning for taking part in this aspect of the event. Kirkland explained how important it was for him to give kids an opportunity to have long hair.
Kirkland stated, “Growing up, I always had the opportunity to grow my hair, cut it how I wanted it. My mom would help dye it. And so, I just wanted to try to grow out my hair, and I wanted to give the opportunity for other kids to have that same kind of expression with their hair growing up. And I don’t want anybody to not be able to have that privilege.” Kirkland enlightened us on his contribution and involvement within THON. He currently is a THON OPPerations Committee Member. Kirkland explained that his responsibility throughout THON Weekend is to ensure that events throughout the duration of the weekend run smoothly. This specific committee’s most important task is working behind the scenes in the Bryce Jordan Center by being assigned to complete the set-up, maintenance, and teardown of the event.
As well as 100 Days ‘Til THON, there will be another hair donation scheduled during THON Weekend. This event will take place on the main stage at the Bryce Jordan Center. If you are able to donate 12 inches of undyed hair, donating your hair is a perfect opportunity for you to make a huge difference during THON Weekend.
Cover photo credit to: Elle McIntyre