Alysse Mahood wasn’t worried too much about the haircut she received on Sunday. In fact, she was all smiles, knowing her hair would go to someone who needed it.
“It’s just hair, it grows back,” said Mahood, a junior.
Mahood took part in QU Hillel’s first annual Lox for Love, a spin-off of the foundation Locks of Love. Lox was used instead of Locks to recognize the fact that a bagel and lox brunch was provided for participants.
Donations are measured by six inches of hair or more to create wigs for cancer patients and survivors. Along with Lox for Love, Hillel also offered $10 haircuts. The money from these haircuts will go to groceries for the Jewish Family Food Pantry before Thanksgiving dinner.
“Hillel is very philanthropically centered,” Hillel President Ben Wald said.
Hillel has a jar for donations, which averages about $50 per week. The money raised goes to the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry or Hamden Food Pantry.
Rabbi Reena Judd’s face lit up with pride as donors came in to have their hair cut.
“It’s the first of many years,” Judd said, regarding the Lox for Love event.
She was also impressed that none of the girls cried as their hair was being cut off.
Wald gave credit to Judd for planning the event, along with Pete Sheppard, hair stylist from His and Hers Salon in Hartford, Conn., and Vice President of Hillel Scott Topel. Both Wald and Judd hope to hold the event again next year.
Sheppard introduced the event to Judd after talking to one of his clients about the Hillel group.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Hillel; they are particularly receptive with charity,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard has experience with this organization. He has sponsored Lox for Love events with Hillel groups from colleges including Clark University and University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“I like the energy of college campuses. They’re a lot of fun,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard enjoys the discussions he has with college student clients.
“Where can you find that anywhere else?” Sheppard said.
Professor Mira Binford donated 12 inches of her hair after growing it out for six years.
Mahood shared the experience with junior Alina Zoraian, a close friend.
Zoraian, who found out about the event through Facebook, brought Mahood back to the Hillel House after donating her own hair. The friends laughed while Sheppard prepped Mahood’s hair to be cut; Mahood even trusted Zoraian enough to cut off a piece of her hair that was being donated.
“It’s a great program. I’m an advocate; I think everyone should do it,” Zoraian said.
Photo credit: Ilya Spektor