GRANGER, Iowa - With a countdown of “Three! Two! One! Donate!” locks of hair were cut from the heads of Woodward-Granger Elementary School students.
"It almost brought tears to my eyes, that they just want to help people, and when you have cancer you need help" said cancer survivor Michelle Fitch
On Friday the students got their hair cut, donating eight inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths; a group that makes wigs for cancer patients.
"16 kids, I can’t even tell you how proud I am of these kids. Just all the support that they've gotten from their peers as well; they were nervous to come in front of a big crowd and families and the community and really take that risk” said school counselor Jenna Tweeten.
"It encouraged me to do the right thing because everyone was cheering me on" said Kiara Jackson, who donated her hair.
Both Fitch and fellow cancer survivor Georgina Valle spoke to the students to tell them how much simply having a head of hair means.
"You look in the mirror every day and even if you don’t feel sick, you look sick. So having a wig to put on helps you blend in, feel normal, and not be singled out as "oh there's that cancer person I feel so sorry for them" said Fitch.
"I feel really happy about what I did because I know that someone else in the world that needs my hair is going to get a chance with that” said Danika Leuenberger, another student who donated.
Those who donated were inspired by their friends.
"It makes me feel good because they're also doing a good cause" said Jackson.
The school was inspired by those who donated.
“It kind of just, you know, was a changing day for us as a school and as a community” said Tweeten
The students said they are ready to grow out their hair and donate again next year.
"We said ‘hey will you do it next year?’ I saw a couple kids say ‘I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it!’, and it was so good to see, alright maybe we've doubled our numbers for next year" said Tweeten.
Fitch reminded everyone that this was a mission in the fight against cancer that even the youngest of us can take on.
"Everybody can grow hair, so, even kids can help” said Fitch.