South Surrey’s Ava Brown, 13, sports her new style (inset) after cutting her hair last month to donate it to Wigs for Kids. (Contributed photos)

South Surrey teen marks haircut donation hat trick

Ava Brown, 13, ‘has a heart for helping’

A South Surrey teen didn’t just think twice about getting her hair cut to help kids – she thought thrice.

Ava Brown, 13, had a stylist at Cloverdale’s Salon Noir lop 10 inches from her lengthy ‘do’ on June 14. The hair was then carefully bound with elastics, sealed in a plastic bag and shipped to Wigs for Kids, a non-profit foundation that uses such donations to create – you guessed it – wigs for kids.

Not just any kids will benefit from Ava’s generosity, however. Wigs for Kids focuses on helping sick kids who have lost their own hair to a life-threatening illness such as cancer. It takes 10 to 12 ponytails like Ava’s to make just one of those wigs.

Ava’s June 14 ponytail is the third that she has sent off since first deciding she wanted to help in this way.

The newly minted Grade 7 grad said she doesn’t remember exactly what drove her to first get involved. Only that she wanted to then – at seven years old – and that the drive hasn’t waned.

“I think I just, like, I wanted just to help other kids who had, like, chemotherapy,” she told Peace Arch News. “I just wanted to help them and give them hair.”

Ava’s mom, Deb Brown, said her daughter has always had a mind towards helping.

“She does so many things,” Brown said. “So many different fundraisers, leadership programs and so on.

“She’s got the biggest heart.”

In addition to donating her hair, Ava has helped her school collect shoes for Ruben’s Shoes, a non-profit society that gathers gently-used footwear for kids in countries such as the Dominican Republic; she’s held lemonade stands for charity; and she encourages fellow students to get involved in the Me to We program, which teaches young people how to help the less fortunate.

For Ava, the latter has included doing a walk for water with her Pacific Heights Elementary classmates; learning that $25 “can make a person have clean water for life.”

The teen said her efforts aren’t motivated by a personal connection to anyone who has cancer or is living in poverty.

But she knows she’d appreciate help if she was in a difficult position.

“It would be nice, I would be excited if someone did help,” Ava said.

For Ava, the efforts are simply because it feels good “to know that I’m helping somebody.”

As for the hair that used to hang nearly to her belly button? Ava said she won’t miss it.

“I like it being short, especially for the summer.”

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