EATON — Eaton Community Schools sixth grader Will Hammond recently cut off 12 inches of hair to donate to Wigs for Kids.
It took him three years to grow out his hair, after learning about the program at his school’s open house.
It wasn’t always an easy process, as he says he went through bullying for being a boy with long hair, but he stuck to his promise to help a child in need.
“I decided to grow out my hair for Wigs for Kids to help a cancer patient. It took me three years to grow out my hair. I got called a girl a lot, I’ve been called ‘gay’ and ‘dumb.’ I’ve been bullied a lot, but it doesn’t matter what other people think. If you’re going to grow it out for a purpose, do it. It feels amazing to finally be donating my hair,” Hammond said.
When he originally went to his mother, Elizabeth Jones, with the idea, she told him no. She told him it would take too long, but he was committed to his plan. She told him, if he started he had to finish because it was for a good cause.
Some people thought it was “cool” young Hammond dedicated the three years of his life to helping a cancer patient, but some thought it was weird because he was a boy.
“I just told him, you have to think of the kid who is going to get your hair. Whoever that child is, they have it worse off than you. They have to deal with bigger problems than being called a name. I just tried to get him to think about that,” Jones said.
“I’m really proud that he didn’t secretly cut his hair when I wasn’t looking. It has been a long, hard road. He has really thick hair and its constantly washing it to make sure it is clean and dry. He is always yelling about it, because it is always in his face and he has to put it up to play sports.
“I think that more parents should let their boys do it. Now that I’ve done it and let him grow it out, it was hard for him, but I think that it is good for him. It is a good experience for boys to think of the sensitive side of things. This whole time he’s had to think about kids who are less fortunate then him and I think that is a good lesson for any child to learn, not just girls.”
For Wigs for Kids volunteer Robin Eck, donating hair teaches kids to help and think of others. She does believe the task is more difficult for boys, as they get bullied for having longer hair. Over the years, she has had two other boys sign up to donate hair to Wigs for Kids.
“Will has been bullied and it’s sad that you’re getting bullied for growing your hair out. Most people, when they find out why they’re doing it, they take a step back and realize it is a good thing,” Eck said. “This teaches them to think of someone else.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH