Hair donation campaign involved students and school employees, as well as the community. (Photo: Davner Toledo).

South America

Vila Velha Adventist School Holds Hair Donation Campaign for Women with Cancer

The campaign collected 80 donations of hair that will now be transformed into wigs for patients.

Brazil | Mairo Hothon

A campaign held by the Ibes Adventist School, in Vila Velha, Espírito Santo, Brazil, will benefit several women fighting cancer. To celebrate Mother's Day, the school unit decided to hold an awareness campaign with its students, employees, and the community, so it brought a structure to cut and receive hair in a public square. The donations will now be transformed into wigs for women assisted by the Support Group for People with Cancer (GAPC).

The "Your hair is so strong it can change someone's life" campaign aimed to be a reference point for the donation of hair, handkerchiefs, and personal hygiene products, in addition to offering blood pressure measurement services and a snack for the donors. The initiative was the result of a partnership between the school, the Dondocas beauty salon, the Meridional hospital chain, and GAPC itself and took place in the central square of the Ibes district in Vila Velha on May 12, 2023.

In three hours of campaigning, more than 80 locks of hair, 30 headscarves, and 20 personal hygiene items were donated. All this material was destined to GAPC, which will make the wigs and direct the donations to the more than 100 women who are assisted by the non-governmental organization. The action was highlighted in different media in Espírito Santo.

"On all the commemorative dates, we usually create an awareness campaign for our students to learn not only the reason for the celebration itself but to have a social impact,” says Marina Farias, Ibes principal. “With this hair donation campaign, we want to make it a fixed annual program of the school in order to always help GAPC and create this chain of good. It was beautiful to see our students bringing their hair."

In all, 80 locks of hair were collected last Friday. Minimum cut was 10cm of hair (Photo: Davner Toledo).

In all, 80 locks of hair were collected last Friday. Minimum cut was 10cm of hair (Photo: Davner Toledo).

Donations Transformed into Wigs

One of the students who donated was Alice Bolzan, only ten years old and in fifth grade. Encouraged by her mother, who already knew about the campaign the school was running, she took advantage of the public action and donated 30 centimeters (approx. 12 inches) of hair.

"I had already donated my hair once, but it was a long time ago—I think it was about four or five years ago. And then I told my mom that I wanted to cut my hair, and she told me to donate it, that my hair would become a beautiful wig for some mom who needs it,” says Bolzan. “I was very different, but I have such a good feeling because I'm going to help those who need it the most, and hair grows back."

[Credit - SAD]

[Credit - SAD]

For Suzana Castro, GAPC's social worker, initiatives like this help to change people's mentality, both children and their families, and impact the lives of those who need material affection at this time in their lives. "We help many women who come from the countryside, who are poor and in need. These donations are important to ease their suffering. Partnerships like this enrich society, create an awareness of good, and bring GAPC closer to the people,” Castro points out. “Now the hair donations go to a company in São Paulo, which makes the wigs, and then they come back here. The tissues and the hygiene products, on the other hand, will be distributed to those in need."

Check out more photos of the action in the gallery below:

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.