Lots of LOVE for “Locks of LOVE”

By Keith Skenandore
They say it’s better to give than to receive.
Those are words that we all can live by. So when Jessica Van Camp had the opportunity to teach her daughter Ashlyn that lesson she jumped right at the opportunity.
At age four, Ashlyn was in need of her first haircut. Her mother took her for a haircut and decided to donate her daughter’s cut hair to the “Locks of Love” program.
“I’ve been doing it for years prior (since 2003),” said Jessica.
Her hair was so long at age four, it was becoming unmanageable. So when it came time for her first cut, Ashlyn knew she needed to donate a certain length.
Jessica told Ashlyn that she didn’t have to donate her hair and get that much cut off but Ashlyn liked the idea.
“Because it was something my mom did, I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Ashlyn said. “It was a good idea to donate to ‘Locks of Love,’” Ashlyn said.
So every two years, since the age of four, Ashlyn donates her hair to “Locks of Love.”
Ashlyn said it was always something she was excited to do, and at about the age of eight, she took it upon herself to go forth with a donation.
“I do it because it’s for a really good cause,” she said, “for someone else to get hair, and Great Clips does a really good job of haircuts, too.”
Jessica said after her daughter’s first couple of donations, she now tells mom when it’s time to get a haircut.
“She kind of turned into the boss,” Jessica said.”
She waits every two years so she has enough length, 10 inches, to donate.
Now a sixth grader at the Shiocton Middle School, it was time for another haircut.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since last December,” Ashlyn said on Saturday, April 1, as she waited at Great Clips for her haircut.
Jessica said Ashlyn has had five donations to “Locks of Love” and that it is amazing.
“That’s 50 inches of hair,” she said.
Now it’s a mother and daughter thing that they do together. As a matter of fact, Ashlyn said her grandmother also joined in with them for one of her visits so all three donated their haircuts to the program.
Ashlyn said she gets the cut every two years so her hair can grow the 10 inches needed to donate. A minimum of six inches is accepted but Ashlyn goes the 10-inch length.
Each time she gets her haircut, photos are taken of Ashlyn donating to the program. She also receives a postcard regarding her donation.
“It’s just really neat to look at the pictures to see the difference,” she said.
Shelly Bergner, a stylist at Great Clips, said they do handle quite a few donations to the “Locks of Love” program and since her hiring she has done at least 20 donation cuts.
Jessica thinks it’s incredible that her daughter has taken the initiative to do the donation.
“I wish I would have started it sooner,” she said.
Jessica attended cosmetology school and cut her own hair, but now when it’s time, they go see a professional.
“At this point and time, it gets to be a lot when it gets that long and thick,” Jessica said. “I’m completely proud of her.
“Now that she’s older she knows what she is doing. She doesn’t have to do it. She’s doing it out of the goodness of her heart.”
0417-front-Locks4Love edit copy Shiocton middle school student Ashlyn Van Camp watches in the mirror as stylist Shelly Bergner cuts her hair to be donated to the “Locks of Love” program on April 1. – Photo by Keith Skenandore
0410shio-LockOfLove copy Ashlyn Van Camp at age four after getting her first hair cut and donating it to the “Locks of Love” program. – Submitted photo