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Photo courtesy of Councilwoman Adrienne Adams office
Saaya Kanhoye (l.) donated 14 inches of her hair and her sister, Shaila Kanhoye, donated 35 inches of her locks to Butterflies by Blaq.

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams hosted a hair donation event on Jan. 10, where local young residents donated their locks and received free haircuts and styling from Aracelis Unisex Hair Salon in Richmond Hill. 

Each person donated their locks to the local nonprofit organization Butterflies By Blaq, which provides high-quality wigs to children with medical conditions. The organization was formed in 2012 by Erna Blackman to assist children coping with hair loss. Blackman is a former volunteer at the American Cancer Society as a wig stylist and wanted to expand on their work. 

Saaya Kanhoye donated 14 inches of her hair and her sister, Shaila Kanhoye, donated 35 inches of her locks. 

“I am humbled and pleased to hold this hair donation event supporting the work of our Butterflies By Blaq providing critical help to young people and inspiring hope within our communities,” Adams said. “This cause is both meaningful and relevant to so many lives. The impact of this contribution will reach many young cancer patients and help them to bravely face the next part of their journey.”

Blackman said hair donors like the Kanhoye sisters are important to the organization because longer hair donations are the building blocks of wig creation. 

“Most of the girls that request our services now want longer hair. Although we accept and are grateful for 10 inches, the desired lengths are 12 inches or more,” Blackman said. “Shaila and Saaya surpassed that which will make it easier for our partners to create the wigs upon receipt of the hair. We love it when we meet young people who feel the need to give back. People helping people makes the world a better place.”

Sherry Algredo from Queens Community Board 9 said, “It’s these humble acts of generosity that really matters. May God bless those who donate so selflessly. The end result is nothing but joy.”

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