For the second time in their very short lives, sisters Eliza and Amelia Vanderark have chopped their hair for charity.
Eliza (9) and Amelia (7) both got their hair trimmed May 31 at Michaud’s Hair Salon in Cloverdale. The Vanderark sisters are once again donating their hair to Wigs for Kids B.C.
In 2019, the girls also donated their hair when Eliza was 5 and Amelia was 3. The Vanderark sisters first wanted to help give back to kids suffering from cancer after watching a YouTube video of other children donating their hair.
Shana Vanderark, the girls’ mom, said she was very proud of her daughters for wanting to donate and raise money for charity.
“A few years back, we had a conversation about giving back and using your time to donate to good causes,” explained Shana. “So when this came up, and the girls wanted to cut their hair for the summer because of the heat, then we had the conversation again. ‘What can we do to give back?’ So they said if they were in the same position, they’d want someone to help them out too.”
Before they got their hair cut, both Eliza and Amelia said they were excited, although Eliza added she was somewhat nervous.
“I’m scared the scissors chops somewhere wrong,” Eliza said.
“I’m fine,” added Amelia. “I’m happy, but I don’t know how short yet.”
The sisters said they’re both thrilled to be donating their hair again and to be raising money for charity again.
“It’s a good thing,” said Amelia. “Kids that don’t have hair, that have cancer, they will get hair.”
“Donating your hair is a better cause than just throwing your hair in the garbage or something,” added Eliza. “I’ll definitely do it again.”
The minimum donation length for Wigs for Kids is 10 inches. Eliza donated 12 inches and Amelia donated 11, making a total of 23 inches of hair.
“A lot of our support came from IODE, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire,” added Shana. “It’s a national women’s charitable organization aimed at making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and those in need. They loved the fact that this is kids doing stuff for kids.”
The girls teamed up with Wigs for Kids and with the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation to launch the fundraising portion of their initiative. Wigs for Kids gives free wigs to children and teens who’ve lost their hair because of their cancer treatment or another illness.
According to Wigs for Kids B.C., “Custom-fitted human-hair wigs are the best solution because they look and feel like the real thing. Their retail price is steep, averaging between $1,000 and $3,000. Under normal circumstances many families would find this expense difficult to afford but for others, who leave their jobs to care for their sick child, it is out of the question. Human-hair wigs are not covered by MSP.”
And it takes about a dozen ponytails to make just one wig.
Shana also wanted to thank Michaud’s who donated their time, services, and space to the Vanderark sisters.
The girls have already raised nearly $1,000, but are only halfway to their fundraising goal.
If anyone would like to donate, they can visit secure.bcchf.ca/SuperheroPages/team.cfm?Event=WigsForKids&Team=15401 to make a donation.
“Every little bit counts,” added Shana.