Donate 8

Several women and men got their hair cut on Sunday during the Donate Eight event at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. The hair donations were bagged, packed and set to be delivered to the Children With Hair Loss nonprofit organization, which makes wigs and hairpieces for children battling illnesses that impede hair growth. Journal Gazette video by Chad Ryan.

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Photos by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Lexi Dippold, 10, waits as a stylist gets her hair ready to cut during the “Donate Eight” event Sunday at Lutheran Hospital. Her hair will go create hairpieces for children battling illnesses.

Hair to there makes impact

Families give locks to craft wigs for children at ‘Donate Eight’

Jordan Kurzen holds up four sections of hair, which she had been growing for three years, after a stylist cut them off for “Donate Eight.”

As the stylist's scissors began snipping through Lily Dippold's long blond-brown hair, she grimaced ever so slightly and looked toward her mom.

Kelly Dippold nodded at her youngest daughter, comforting her, before glancing at her older daughter, Lexi.

The three of them grinned.

The Dippold women were among many people who donated 8 inches or more of their hair Sunday for children in need of wigs.

The program, called “Donate Eight,” took place at Lutheran Children's Hospital and the donations will be sent to Children With Hair Loss, an organization that makes hairpieces for children in need, said Mike James, an IPFW student who organized the event. Stylists from several salons volunteered their time Sunday to cut and collect ponytails for the organization.

“I wasn't sure Lily was going to stay in that chair,” Kelly Dippold said as she waited for her two girls to finish their haircuts. “I thought she might jump up halfway through and say ‘Nope!' but I'm proud of her. Proud of both of them.”

Dippold works at Lutheran Hospital and said she saw a flyer advertising the event.

“I really wanted to donate (my hair) and when I saw that poster it was like a sign and everything sort of fell into place,” Dippold said.

She then asked her daughters, Lexi, 10, and Lily, 8, if they would be interested in donating their hair. They hesitated at first, but agreed it would be a good thing to do for children who were not so fortunate.

Lily said she thought to herself as she saw the scissors come out and felt the first cut, “You can't go back now, Lily!”

A few chairs down, 5-year-old Madilyn Neff was a bit concerned about the long ponytail she held in a Ziploc bag.

The young girl looked from her bag to her mom, Becky, and back again before she began to sniffle.

Becky Neff picked her up, running her fingers through her hair and assuring her it was OK and that the long strands would grow back in no time.

“We are very fortunate to have long hair and we wanted to bless someone else who needs it,” Becky Neff said. “I was so excited that (Madilyn) wanted to do it.”