Panthers of ISKL #145: The Locks of Hope Donors

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On March 13, 2023, Elementary School (ES) students donated their hair to the hair donation platform ‘Locks of Hope,’ which makes wigs for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Initially starting this project in 2022, best friends Emma and Lino inspired their friends Minseo and Angela to join in and organize the drive with the help from English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher Yuka Kominato and G2 teacher Alex Lancia, culminating in a student-led donation campaign involving 18 students, three parents and two teachers.

Here is their story.


Locks of hope events

ANGELA

POISKL-Locks-of-Hope-AngelaTell us about yourself.

I am from Beijing, but I was born in Los Angeles in the USA. I joined ISKL in Grade 1 and have three best friends – Minseo, Lino, and Emma.

Why did you participate in the ‘Locks of Hope’ project this year?

I did this because it feels so good when you help people; donating your hair is so important to help cancer patients.

How did you feel when they cut off your hair?

I cut around 15cm. It feels cooler because your hair is short and doesn’t feel so hot.

Why do you think other students should also participate in ‘Locks of Hope’?

They should take part so we can all help cancer patients together.

What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world” mean to you?

It means to take part in things you are good at and use it to help people around the world.

 

EMMA

POISKL-Locks of Hope-EmmaTell us about yourself.

I am from Shanghai, China, and I joined ISKL in Grade 1 – I have been here for three years.

How long have you and Lino been friends and how did you meet?

We’ve been friends for three years – we first met in an online class.

Can you tell us about the ‘Locks of Hope’ project you participated in last year? Whose idea was it and how did you hear about the hair donation platform?

Lino and I came up with this idea. Our Grade 2 EAL teacher, Ms. Yuka, told us about the ‘Locks of Hope’ project, and about donating our hair.

How did you feel when they cut off your hair?

I felt very excited. My hair felt much lighter – I think the hairdresser cut off about 15 cm.

What made you decide to do ‘Locks of Hope’ again this year? How did you inspire your friends, Minseo and Angela, to join you?

My friend Angela, her hair, was not long enough last year. So this year, her hair is longer, so we decided to do this project with her and Minseo and let other people join if they wanted to.

Why do you think other students should also participate in ‘Locks of Hope’?

Last year in Grade 2 EAL, my teacher Ms. Yuka told us that only 12 kids could make one wig. So we need to make as many wigs as possible.

What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world” mean to you?

It means to be kind and patient with people.

 

LINO

POISKL-Locks-of-Hope-LinoTell us about yourself.

I’m from Tokyo, Japan, and joined ISKL in Grade 1.

How long have you been friends with Emma and how did you meet?

We were from the same class and have been friends for two years.

Can you tell us about the ‘Locks of Hope’ project you participated in last year? Whose idea was it and how did you hear about the hair donation platform?

So first, it started with my EAL teacher Ms. Yuka; she asked if I was interested in participating in events like this. I then asked my mom about it, as she does a lot of charity work, she then explained to me about how ‘Locks of Hope’ is for people who have cancer and don’t have much hair; so wanting to help, I decided to start this project.

Last time, I did the project with Emma – it was just the two of us, but it wasn’t enough to make one wig. So we decided to bring in our two other friends, but still it wasn’t enough, so we decided to make a video to help promote the campaign. Through this we got 18 students to join, and some parents joined in too!

Why do you think other students should also participate in ‘Locks of Hope’?

So the main reason is to make wigs. My mom told me that one wig needs 12 kids to create one. We thought we should do this event so that people with cancer who don’t have much hair can feel happy.

What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world” mean to you?

Many girls and boys want their hair to be pretty and nice but feel sad as they don’t have any hair because of cancer. They want to get a wig, but it’s expensive, and their families cannot afford it. Cancer patients need to wear a wig as it’s tough to wash their hair as they might lose even more. When my friends and I cut and donated our hair, the wig will almost be free.

 

MINSEO

POISKL-Locks-of-Hope-MinseoTell us about yourself.

I’m ten years old, and come from Seoul, Korea. I joined ISKL in Grade 2.

Why did you participate in the ‘Locks of Hope’ project this year?

I saw how Emma and Lino participated last year and thought it was fantastic – I also wanted to join too.

How did you feel when they cut off your hair?

It felt empty but much lighter, and it’s easier to shower now.

Why do you think other students should also participate in ‘Locks of Hope’?

We needed to get as many students as possible to participate! It takes 12 people’s hair donations to make one wig, the hair has to be a similar color.

What does “Know yourself, care for all and create a better world” mean to you?

It means noticing what you’re good at and how important you are. Also, how important it is to care for people, to include them, and protect them. By helping each other, being careful, and not throwing trash everywhere, we can create a better world.

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Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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