Makeover reaps multiple rewards

FAIRMONT – Ceylon resident Linda Hoppe is a generous person. So much so, that when given the opportunity to have a day of pampering all to herself, she used it to help others.

Linda won a contest for a hair makeover at a local salon. She jumped at the chance to donate her hair to Locks of Love, an organization dedicated to providing hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

It isn’t the first time Linda has donated her hair, and it isn’t likely to be her last.

This attitude of service was what made her stand out to Alycia Johnson, a cosmetologist manager at Indulge Salon and Spa in Fairmont. During the Christmas holiday, Johnson was looking for ways to give back to the community by pampering someone who maybe wouldn’t otherwise spend the time or money on themselves. The makeover giveaway brought many stories of deserving people, but Linda’s story stood out to Johnson.

Linda cares for her husband, Dennis, at home. Afflicted with polio as an infant, which injured his legs, Dennis then broke his leg last year. As a result, he spent eight months in a nursing home recovering. He recently came home to be cared for by his wife.

It was Linda’s husband who put her name in the hat for the makeover.

“She is busy taking care of others,” Johnson said, of why she was chosen from the other entries.

The couple also has full custody of one of their 10 grandchildren.

In addition to caring for her husband and grandson, and donating her hair to help children suffering from hair loss, Linda spent six full days during the Christmas season ringing bells for the Salvation Army, along with working part time for Countywide Real Estate.

At the salon, as Johnson cut Linda’s mid-length hair into a short pixie style, Linda was already talking about how long it might take her to grow her hair out enough to donate it again. The minimum length for donation is 10 inches, and Linda expects in two years she’ll reach that point again.

Hair needs to be gathered into ponytails before being cut, so it can be mailed to the organization bundled together.

Hair of all colors can be donated, Linda said, since Locks of Love sells any colors it can’t use to other organizations, and the profits help with the cost of making the hairpieces.