Local kids are giving back to a noble cause.
The Liberty Kiwanis Club held its second Annual Hair Drive for children who are experiencing hair loss due to illness.
From Wednesday, September 13 until Friday, September 15, donors showed up at Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon, 8412 Third Avenue, to donate their locks.
Robert Cavaliere, who is on the board of directors and was a past lieutenant governor for the Liberty Kiwanis Club, took the helm this year and saw a dramatic increase in outreach and donations.
“We started last year and we had maybe eight pony tails donated. It wasn’t a lot,” he said. “This year I took over and I posted it on Facebook and posted flyers throughout different boroughs.”
Cavaliere and the club were pleasantly surprised by the turnout. “We were shocked. We had 23 volunteers that came down and nine of them were children between the ages of four and 12,” he said. “It was just amazing. The owner of Pilo Arts Day Spa Elena Solitario graciously offered her store. She gave us three days. Anytime they could come down, she would cut the hair and put it in a bag.”
Volunteers were also rewarded thanks to Kiwanis and Solitario, who provided freebies for the donors. “That’s like a $50 value,” Cavaliere said. In addition, “We gave a gift package to everyone who donated their hair. We bought bracelets from Children with Hair Loss.”
According to Cavaliere, the organization gives free wigs to children who lose their hair due to medical reasons until they’re 21 years old.
He was happy with the turnout. “We had people from Staten Island and Queens travel to Brooklyn to donate their hair,” Cavaliere said. “I was shocked. I think six people from Staten Island came in and donated hair. It was an eye-opener. I learned so much. The kids were fantastic. I was holding back tears. They told me they were very happy to do it.”