The NGO Zichron Menachem is to hold its second annual hair donation campaign
this week for the benefit of children and youth suffering from
The operation, entitled “Your hair, their smile,” will run from
Sunday to Tuesday in more than 100 hairdressing salons across Israel, where
donors will receive free haircuts in exchange for 30 centimeters of their
The donated hair will be collected from the salons by Zichron
Menachem volunteers and will be made into wigs, which will be distributed to the
young patients whose parents would otherwise not be able to afford their high
cost, about NIS 7,000.
“Young patients who suffer from cancer lose their
hair due to the chemotherapy treatment and often avoid being seen in public. The
wigs are a solution that enables them to feel comfortable and secure,” the NGO,
which has been assisting children with cancer and their families for more than
20 years, wrote in a statement.
Eight-year-old Shilat Halfa, of Acre, has
been battling cancer for 10 months now.
She and her sister, Liel Halfa,
15, are the faces on this year’s television campaign, along with actor Dvir
“It was really fun to film the campaign,” Shilat told The
Jerusalem Post on the phone, as she was walking out of Schneider Medical Center
in Petah Tikva, where she had undergone medical tests on Sunday.
the disease, Shilat had long, thick and wavy hair that almost came down to her
knees. Today, she explains she only wears a wig on special occasions such as
holiday dinners: “It’s best to be natural,” she said.
“I’m happy I took
part in the TV campaign because I really want people to donate hair and make
kids happy,” she continued, “Sick kids are also allowed to enjoy life like
Liel Halfa donated 30 centimeters of her long dark hair on
camera for Zichron Menachem’s campaign. The video was made into a national
television advert which is being broadcast this week.
“Since she started
to be sick, I wanted to do something, and I thought about donating hair, but I
kind of didn’t take the time to think about it, because I was busy with school
and my sister and all,” Liel told the Post, “then when she started losing hers,
I felt ready to do it.
“It’s hard because Shilat had a hard time with it.
She talked a lot about hair and used be sad about me having hair and her not
having any, she also used to ask questions and I didn’t always have an answer
for her,” Liel added.
With the hair Liel donated, the NGO is currently
creating a wig for her younger sister.
“It makes me happy it will be for
my sister, but to be honest, it would have felt the same if it was for any other
kid,” she explained. “If I can do something to make them happy, I will do
“It’s nothing for me, my hair will grow back quick enough; for them
it will take a long time,” she continued.
Liel and Shilat’s mother,
Rachel Halfa, said she is very proud of her daughters for being part of the
initiative: “At first people asked me ‘why do you let your kids be on
television?’ and said it’s not a good thing for them, but my kids wanted to do
it, it came from them, and if it’s for such a good cause, why not?” she said,
“When the organization approached us, I told them that they’d have to ask the
girls, If they said yes, I’m in.”
“Whenever I go to the hospital, I see
all the kids in the oncology department who are crying over their hair. It’s
something that means a lot to them,” Rachel added. “I really hope this campaign
is successful” The campaign is set to end on Thursday. Because of of last year’s
success, this year the idea has been expanded to include communities in France, England and the US.