Locks of Love

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

Olivia Foster of Greenville is only seven years old. But this W.O. Parmer Elementary School student made an adult-sized contribution recently when she donated her long, luxurious locks to some less fortunate child.

Olivia, the daughter of Lucy and Michael Foster and big sister of &#8220Izi B,” had her longer-than-waist length hair cut this week to give to the &#8220Locks of Love” Foundation.

The non-profit program takes hair from donors across the country and uses it to make wigs and hairpieces for children who have lost hair due to cancer treatments, alopecia, and other health problems.

While Olivia has had the ends of her hair trimmed in the past, this was the little girl's first full-fledged haircut, executed by hair stylist Jeff Williams of Bella in downtown Greenville.

&#8220One of the first things I asked Olivia was why she decided to do this. She told me she wanted to help other people who had cancer and didn't have their hair anymore,” Williams said.

The Foster family looked up the information on the Internet to learn what the specifications are and how to donate to the program.

No doubt the active elementary school student will find her sporting interests a little easier with her new shoulder-length style.

&#8220She likes to play softball and soccer, and Olivia said she used to step on the ends of her hair when she would be reaching down to get the ball,” Williams said.

The second-grader does plan to grow out her hair again, and perhaps have it re-cut in another seven years.

For anyone interested in following Olivia's generous example, here are a few particulars:

&#8220Locks of Love” accepts a minimum of 10 inches of hair length, tip to tip. The hair must be clean and dry. It can be colored or permed; however, bleached or chemically damaged hair is not accepted. Hair that is short, gray, or unsuitable for children will be separated from ponytails and sold at fair market value to offset the cost of manufacturing. Hair is needed from men and women, young and old, all colors and races.

Most of the hair donated to &#8220Locks of Love” comes from children, like Olivia, who simply want to help other children.

To learn more about &#8220Locks of Love,” visit their Website at www.locksoflove.org.