Trimmed tresses become Locks of Love

Published: August 30, 2006 | 4671st good news item since 2003

Second-grader organizes benefit for charity that provides wigs to sick children

When 7-year-old Brienna DiPietro lops off 10 inches of her hair today to donate to make wigs for sick children, she’ll be doing more than just helping those less fortunate than herself.

DiPietro, who is going into second grade at Milton Terrace Primary School, will also be drastically streamlining her morning routine.

“Now that I’m going to second grade, I’m going to have to get on the bus at 8:15,” DiPietro said Tuesday. “My hair is always really snarly. … It takes like half an hour to brush it.”

DiPietro got the idea to grow her hair and donate it through a program called Locks of Love after seeing four other girls who did it on the television news, she said. Locks of Love, a nonprofit charity, takes donations of hair and money and makes wigs for children who’ve lost their hair due to a medical condition. Today, she’s trying to get others to do the same at two Colonie hair salons.

She also enlisted the help and hair of her mother, Heather, 34, who has helped her daughter organize the event where anybody can walk into a Colonie hair salon, donate their hair and, in return, get a free entree at a steak house.

The event will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at Belleza hair salons’ two locations, 46 Fuller Road and 139 Vly Road, both in Colonie. Walk-ins are welcome.

The salons have also donated their services. People who want to make appointments can do so by calling 453-6071 for the Fuller Road location and 723-4124 for the Vly Road location.

“It didn’t take much convincing when you have a child that feels that strongly,” Heather DiPietro said. “I’m very lucky to have two very healthy little girls.”

DiPietro’s bosses at Dakota Steakhouse in Colonie have offered to provide a free entree for the first 50 adults who donate their hair. Children who donate will also receive a free meal and a prize donated by local businesses, DiPietro said.

It will be the first time since she was only a little older than her daughter that her hair will be so short, Heather DiPietro said. Her younger daughter, 5-year-old Kelsey, wants to donate but doesn’t quite have enough hair, she said.

“She’s very upset that she can’t donate,” her mother said. He husband, Frank, will have to watch Kelsey while mom and daughter have their hair cut.

Donors need at least 10 inches of hair when it is pulled back into a ponytail in order to be able to be eligible to donate, DiPietro said.

“If I have to look ridiculous for six months so a 10-year-old doesn’t get made fun of at school, then it’s worth it for me and my daughter,” she said.

Published in Charity, Kids & Teens, Locks of Love
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