An Israeli charitable drive in Israel beat the Guinness World Record for hair donations to children with cancer.
More than 250 women participated in a haircutting event last Monday at Jerusalem’s Malha Mall; it was hosted by Zichron Menachem – the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families, together with Pantene Products Israel. Approximately 200 hair salons participated. It was planned as a three-day program, but within five hours, more than 117 pounds, or 53.1 kilograms, of hair was donated.
The previous record for hair collection was 107 pounds, or 48.7 kilograms.
The Zichron Menachem website (zichron.org) includes a list of more than 100 haircutting venues that participate in this initiative all year round. The collected hair is given to children in hospitals throughout Israel. The organization serves all Israeli citizens equally, regardless of faith and/or gender.
Addressing potential donors, Zichron Menachem stresses that a healthy individual’s hair “never stops growing. You – and your hair! – can bring boundless joy to a child with cancer! Even if you cut it all off, it will still grow back.”
Its website suggests:
“Close your eyes for just a minute and picture waking up in the morning and finding locks of your hair spread across the pillow. You finger them in confusion, fear. You run to the mirror and gasp in horror.”
All types of hair are in demand.
“In order to make a child with cancer feel as normal and beautiful as possible, the goal is to fashion a wig that looks exactly like his/her hair,” the site explains. “The child’s head is measured, and the wig is constructed from hair that is the closest match to his own. A curly-topped kid wants curls. A girl with red braids wants red braids. A teen with frizzy brown hair still wants…frizzy brown hair, even if she’s always complained about it!”
Zichron Menachem, based in Jerusalem, was named in memory of Menachem Ehrental, who died of leukemia in 1990 at the age of 15. His parents, through Zichron Menachem (Hebrew for ‘In Memory of Menachem’), committed themselves to instilling pediatric cancer patients with joy and hope.
The non-profit organization provides “immediate, practical and long-term aid and solutions to young cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their battle with illness, as well as physical and emotional support to parents and families throughout the long, excruciating ordeal,” the site states.
Zichron Menachem has been awarded the Israel’s Presidential Prize for Volunteers; the Prime Ministerial Child Protector Award; the Health Ministerial Prize for Volunteers; and the Mayor of Jerusalem’s Citation for Volunteers, among others.
Author: Atara Beck, Staff Writer for United with Israel
Date: Nov. 18, 2013