In many ways Bruce Hernandez is your typical seven-year-old. He likes to play with his brother and dog, as well as the piano and tennis. But what makes him stand out is his motivation to help others – at such a young age – and a big heart.
Bruce, whose hair grew long when the pandemic shut down salons and barber shops in California, decided to grow it even longer so he could donate his hair to Wigs for Kids. “It makes me so happy that I can help other kids,” he says. “By cutting my hair and donating it, kids get wigs that make them feel like kids again.”
It took three years for Bruce to grow his dark brown hair to the recommended 14 inches needed to donate hair to make a custom hairpiece by the Wigs For Kids team.
“When Bruce said he was ready to cut his hair, we found a Wigs For Kids partner salon in Tustin that specializes in cutting hair for wig donations,” says his mom Vanessa. “It was easy to find as we typed in our zip code and then a list of nearby salons were listed to choose from. The hairstylist cut the hair needed to gather ponytails of donated hair and then styled his hair short.”
Inspired by what their son was doing, Bruce’s parents decided to take it a step further and set up a fundraiser online on the Wigs for Kids website.
“When we found out that it costs approximately $1,800 to make one wig, we thought we could not only help by donating hair but also by raising funds,” says Vanessa, noting that each wig is custom-made and hand-tied using only human hair. “Once Bruce cut his hair everyone noticed and when they found out he donated it to Wigs For Kids they thought that was amazing and were inspired to help, too. Our family, friends and the school community have been so supportive. We set up the fundraiser in February, and, in one month, we have almost reached our goal already.”
The Hernandez family is not only raising funds but also spreading awareness about Wigs For Kids throughout the community. One thing his classmates in school learned is that they could earn a Girl Scout badge by donating their hair, which is sure to motivate others to do the same.
“We are extremely proud of our son to donate to such a wonderful cause,” says Vanessa. “It’s nice to be involved in charities that are helping children.”
When asked if he will grow his hair long again so he could donate more hair, Bruce says it will be his three-year-old brother, Clark’s, turn to do so in the future. Though he didn’t mind brushing his hair every morning and evening, he says laughingly that putting gel in his hair now that he is sporting a short haircut definitely takes a lot less time than brushing it twice a day. But something that was well worth it!
To learn more about hair donations or fundraising, like Bruce, please visit WigsForKids.org.
It makes me so happy that I can help other kids. By cutting my hair and donating it, kids get wigs that make them feel like kids again.– Bruce