This week, Grotto catches up with Kelly Heiniger, a volunteer with ‘The Bald and the Beautiful’ fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s at the University of Notre Dame. Students and staff shave their heads to donate their hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients. “It gives people that sense of empowerment and helps them understand that your beauty doesn’t come from the outside,” she shares.
Kelly Heiniger: So, my name is Kelly Heiniger. I volunteer for the Bald and the Beautiful, and every April we host an event. Students shave their heads, donate eight or more inches of hair, and purchase colored hair extensions. And all the money goes to, the hair donations go to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. And also St. Baldrick’s.
I’ve chosen to make this my big event that I’m involved in on campus. And so as my role has increased over the couple years, I’ve had to cut out other things. It’s so easy to get caught up in, like, a focus on yourself and all that. And being involved in TBAB gives the chance to look outside myself. And this is what I’m going to offer for the Notre Dame community and hopefully leave it a little better off than I found it.
Last year, a couple of the staff members from the hospital actually shaved their heads, but the kids got to do the shaving for them. It was so great, getting to watch that and be like, these are the kids that we’re doing this for.
It gives people just that sense of empowerment and helps them to understand, you know, your beauty doesn’t come from what you look like on the outside.