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Olivia’s offering

By Staff | Nov 21, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Olivia Belisle, 5, and hairstylist and La Bella Vita Salon owner Leah Harper share a bond as Harper has twice cut Olivia’s hair for Locks of Love.

Olivia Belisle is not wasting any time sharing the holiday spirit. The Rugby 5-year-old is a natural when it comes to giving.

For the second time in her short life, Belisle had at least 10 inches of hair lopped off her pint-sized frame. The hair goes to Locks of Love, a non-profit that makes wigs from human hair for children who lost hair due to medical conditions.

“If I get sick then someone can cut their hair for me,” Olivia told her mother Brekka Belisle.

Olivia first donated her hair in March of 2012 when she was just 3 years old.

“She was not upset about it or anything,” Brekka said. “I don’t think she got it when she was 3, that she was cutting it for Locks for Love.

“We’ve been talking about it because her hair was getting long, she’s busy in school and it gets knotty. Long hair is a lot of work, especially trying to braid it or style it. It had been trimmed, but sometimes you’re ready for a change.”

And with change came another opportunity to give.

Leah Harper, owner of La Bella Vita Salon, cut Olivia’s hair both times, including last week. Harper said at least 10 people have come to her Rugby salon this year to have the hair cut and sent to Locks of Love.

“We have a lot of people that donate, but not many people this young,” said Harper, beaming at Olivia. “It’s neat to have anyone do it, actually.”

Harper said her perspective on hair donation changed this year as fellow hairstylist Jessica Tuchscherer’s mother, Jody Tuchscherer, battled breast cancer.

The hairstylists and Belisles (father Corey) are equally proud of Olivia’s willingness to help others and part with her outer identity. Not that Olivia – who wants to be a teacher when she grows up – was shy about showing off her new do.

“She had to show everybody at school,” Brekka said, “and take her hat off and say, ‘Look at my hair!’ I don’t know how productive she was in school that day.”

Brekka donated her own hair shortly before she was pregnant with Olivia. The youngster said she plans to donate again, which might not happen again until she’s close to 8 years old.

“She isn’t scared,” Harper said, “and she was excited to give (her hair) to someone else.”

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