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Comox Valley youth getting first haircut at 16 for good causes

Tarn Blakely will donate the hair to Hair We Share while raising funds for YANA
Tarn Blakely, 16, will be donating her hair to help a couple of worthy causes. Foundations Hair Salon will be doing the cut in late February. Photo supplied

Tarn Blakely has waited a long time for her first haircut.

At age 16, she has decided to chop her long hair to help not one but two worthy causes.

The hair itself, about two feet of which will be cut, will go to a program called Hair We Share, to be used for a wig.

“I wanted to make my hair mean something,” she says.

At the same time, she has set up a GoFundMe page to take donations for YANA (You Are Not Alone) in order to help families needing to travel for medical needs.

“I know they help a lot of people,” she says.

RELATED STORY: Wells family forever grateful for YANA’s support in time of need

She has been thinking about this for a long time, as she knew even when she was small that she wanted to donate her hair to something worthwhile.

“Now just felt like a really good time to do some good,” she adds.

Her mom Brenda agrees that in the midst of a pandemic, people can use good news.

“I think she picked a great time to cut her hair,” she says. “When something positive happens, it gives everybody a little lift.”

Tarn has been researching for a while about charities that take hair, looking for one whose values matched. One of the things about Hair We Share that was an attraction was that it raises hair for wigs to be given free to anyone, child or adult, who has lost hair to a medical condition. There were other factors too.

“They make the process simple for donating,” Brenda says.

Tarn is also seeking two more business donors. She has already lined up Derek Vinge from Fit Chiropractic and Sport Therapy. Early on, she got major support from Foundations Hair Salon, which doubled the amount of community donations that had already been raised.

“Foundations had made a pretty big commitment to this fundraiser,” says Brenda.

The haircut is set for the salon on 5th Street in Courtenay for Sunday, Feb. 27. So far, it is set to go live through the Facebook page, though the family says it would like some help on the technical side.

Beyond working for the causes, Tarn is already very busy, as she is involved with many activities: stilt-walking, tap-dancing with Pantuso Dance, learning roller derby with the Brick House Betties, math club, practising to be a barista, the Zenius Labs group at school and playing Sheldon J. Plankton in the upcoming school district musical version of SpongeBob Squarepants. All of this is in addition to earning straight A’s in school at Highland Secondary.

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Tarn can often be seen at events walking on stilts. Photo supplied