Laura A. Richardson and her daughter Abigail, 11, a sixth-grader and violinist at Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, recently donated a combined 24 inches of their hair to Locks of Love Inc. It will be fashioned into wigs for children who have suffered medical hair loss and don’t have the financial resources to purchase hairpieces.
“After much discussion with Abigail, and our long list of so many friends affected from cancer, together we set out on a mission to grow our hair to help,” said Richardson, a senior lecturer in Sports Science and Wellness Education at the University of Akron.
“During this season, so many people rush around preparing to celebrate the holidays and it can be easy to miss the magic of giving, patience and waiting. ... The choice to donate our locks was a long journey but can mean so much to families fighting. ... Our small donation wasn’t huge but still a commitment of sharing to those in need.”
Mom donated 14 inches and Abigail donated 10 inches.
Bone marrow drive
A Kashi Clinic Lab Bone Marrow Drive has been urgently planned for 4 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Chapel’s fellowship hall on Fir Hill in Akron. Cost to have the test processed is $175.
“This donation will be tested for me privately,” writes Allison Armstrong, wife of Adam and mother of three young daughters, who is battling leukemia and is in need of a second transplant to survive. She’s a patient at the Cleveland Clinic.
Another free opportunity (donations encouraged) is coming soon, sponsored by Be The Match Bone Marrow Drive at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. Please contact Keith Schmader for questions and updates at 216-503-2121.
“My children are enjoying the traditions of the Christmas season even in my absence,” Allison wrote Tuesday. “Thanks to the beautiful friends the Lord has given to me. … Gingerbread houses are so fun, and Daddy says we have sneaky nibblers on the candy. … So glad they don’t understand the depths of the journey.”
Toys for Sandy Hook
Scott Malensek, owner of the Stew Pot Kitchen, 23 S. Main St., Akron, is sponsoring what he calls “a Toylift” for the Newtown, Conn., community, specifically those families with children at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“My kids have just finished collecting 20 stuffed animals and several more toys,” Malensek wrote. “Customers and friends are not encouraged but begged to bring in new toys that we can send to the survivors. I’ll pay the shipping myself, or I’ll drive them if I have to.
“This is a time for the entire nation to open our hearts to children who have been through hell before their favorite holiday.” Toys for children whose parents observe other holidays also will be included.
Collection times will be 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and Friday. For more information, please call 330-376-7839.
Akron’s Desiree Williamson-Broadus and friends have organized a Mychal Jamal Clayton Scholarship Breakfast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Summit Lake Community Center in memory of the 2011 Garfield High School graduate who died July 22 after a long battle with sickle cell disease.
In addition to breakfast ($3 children, $5 adults), glove and hat giveaways while they last, face painting, crafts and photos with Santa are planned. Following the breakfast, a caravan of cars will make their way to Greenlawn Cemetery to lay a wreath at Mychal’s grave, sing a few carols and participate in a balloon release.
Glove, hat, book and food donations are still needed. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Items can be dropped off from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at 380 W. Crosier St., Akron. Breakfast items include eggs, pancakes, grits, bacon, sausage, orange juice, milk and coffee.
Washer, dryer donated
Jennifer and Ken Pokopac phoned to donate a Whirlpool Duet Front Load washer and gas dryer with pedestals to “a worthy family.”
I found such a family — an Akron husband and wife with 12 children who range in age from 4 to 19 — who are beyond grateful.
Help for grief center
Major kudos to Dennis Dunn, owner of Dunn-Quigley Funeral Homes, for helping grieving families in the Akron-Stow area by donating $500 to the Kelly Reeves Memorial Foundation. The nonprofit benefits Kelly’s Grief Center, which offers professional counseling in individual and group setting to children, teens and adults. The donation was made in partnership with Forsight Family Funeral Homes, which matched the donation through the Helpers of People Charitable Contributions Matching Program.
The Kelly Grief Center at 420 W. Main St., inside the Kent Wellness Center, Kent, was founded by Bob and Cathy Reeves, who lost their 16-month-old daughter, Kelly Marie, in 2002. Because of the devastation of their own loss, the Reeves felt the need to help others struggling with the loss of a loved one.
KSU students treated
Vanessa Tostes, a spokeswoman for Red Lobster in Cuyahoga Falls, said Kent State University students taking final exams were treated to some tasty brain fuel in the form of 300 of the restaurant’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. It was part of the library’s “Stress Free Zone Event” where students “take a break studying to enjoy free snacks, drink and entertainment … All 300 biscuits were gone in under an hour!”
Event raises $50,000
The Arthritis Foundation’s recent inaugural Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst drew more than 1,200 participants and raised nearly $50,000 to support local programs and services.
The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org), according to its mission statement, is about “raising awareness and reducing the unacceptable impact of arthritis, which strikes one in every five adults and 300,000 children, and is the nation’s leading cause of disability. To conquer this painful, debilitating disease, we support education, research, advocacy and other vital programs and services.”
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org