A missed haircut last fall turned into a gift of love for one Otho woman and her daughters.
Charlene Kelley, of rural Otho, and her daughters, 23-year-old Emma and 20-year-old Ada, have been growing their hair for Locks of Love for up to two years, and together they donated their ponytails to the organization Monday afternoon.
"I usually get a haircut at least a couple times a year," said Charlene Kelley as she sat down in Stacy Lewis' chair at Absolutely U Salon in Fort Dodge. "We just got busy and I missed getting my haircut last fall. It was getting long and by January I just thought 'I can't have much longer for it to grow now.'"
To donate to Locks of Love, donors must be able to give a minimum of a 10-inch ponytail.
Emma Kelley has donated her hair several times over the years.
"Probably four, maybe five times," she said.
Monday she was able to donate two years' worth of hair to the organization, which makes wigs for children and young adults 21 years old and younger who have experienced hair loss due to medical reasons.
Charlene and Ada Kelly both received chin-length, layered haircuts, while Emma Kelley said she prefers to keep her longer hair.
"I usually grow it until know I can cut the 10 inches and still have longer hair," Emma Kelley said. "That makes it an easy decision on how much to cut off."
Ada Kelley wasn't so sure what to make of her new haircut at first.
"I think I'm going to miss it," she said of her long, curly ponytail.
"You'll love it," Emma Kelly reassured her. "You won't even know it's gone."
The family was able to donate nearly 3 feet of hair when each cut was complete. Lewis plans to send them to Palm Beach Fla., where Locks of Love is headquartered, this week. "I probably have seven to 10 ponytails to send in," said Lewis.