College students should become involved in charities



Megan Kearney's hair is cut to be donated to wigs for kids during the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon at the Bryce Events Center in University Park, Pennsylvania. The even raises money to help families that are battling pediatric cancer.

Joyce Melendez, Staff Writer

For the most part, college students seem to be entirely focused on themselves and their affairs. College is a stressful time, so it is understandable that a disconnection from others would take place. While it is not everyone’s modus operandi to interact with others, acknowledging and trying to understand others can be beneficial.

It is no secret that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Something individuals might not be aware of is that 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15-39 are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to Livestrong.

Depending on what type of cancer they are diagnosed with and the treatment they receive, individuals may experience hair loss. While this may cause discomfort for the individual, the situation does not need to be bleak. People from all walks of life can bring comfort back into the lives of individuals experiencing hair loss by donating hair.

Since a cancer diagnosis is a very personal matter, individuals may not make it known to others. Regardless of that fact, individuals can still make a difference with supporting those who are battling cancer.

Individuals should not feel obligated to donate any time or resources to charities, but for those who are interested there are various ways to help.

Not everyone wants to focus on charities that raise funds for cancer research. With that being said, may be a website of interest for individuals who want to educate themselves on various charities that are out there. The website gives charities grades based on a certain criteria. By educating oneself, an individual can make an educated decision rather than just becoming involved in a charity that is well known.

As college students money can be sparse and therefore donating to a charity is not an option. If that is the case, depending on the organization there are different ways to volunteer or participate in events.

An organization that offers multiple ways to help their cause is Locks of Love. This organization focuses on providing hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada. Besides donating hair, an individual has the option of making a monetary donation or purchasing a stuffed animal with the proceeds going toward providing hairpieces and funding medical research. The children who experience hair loss are living with alopecia, undergoing cancer treatments, or are living with other disorders that cause hair loss.

There are other organizations, such as Pantene Beautiful Lengths, that do not solely focus on making hairpieces for children.

While it takes time for hair to grow, it is worth it to know that someone can feel complete when receiving a hairpiece. Over the course of about 3 years, I have cut my hair twice in order to donate it. Each time over ten inches of hair was cut off.

At first it was a bit of a shock and took some time to get used to but there is a great deal of comfort knowing that someone will benefit from the donation. The process of donating hair has opened my eyes to what it means to be comfortable in one’s skin. It might not seem like a big deal to be without hair but when a person’s appearance is changed there is an adjustment period that occurs. While I will never fully understand what goes on with those experiencing hair loss because of cancer or certain disorders, I am sympathetic to their situations and will continue to donate my hair.

In the end, there are various opportunities that can be taken to help peers and many other individuals. During a time of distress, it is reassuring to know that others are willing to assist and be united by similar beliefs. Compassion goes a long way when it comes to helping your fellow man.