TRARALGON local Ruby Clegg has raised more than $2500 in the lead up to her Big Chop.
Ruby, 12, donated 42cm of her hair to Hair With Heart on October 17, raising impressive funds in the lead-up.
Originally, the plan was to just donate her hair, however when she realised other fundraised as well, she was quick to get on board.
Ruby’s mum, Kelly Clegg has been one of her biggest supporters throughout her journey.
“We just wanted to donate her hair first, and then once we started looking into it we realised other people fundraise while they do it, so she picked Make-A-Wish,” Ms Clegg explained.
“I just wanted to make other kids happy,” Ruby said.
On her fundraising page, Ruby writes that “losing your hair can have a negative impact on your mental health so I want to donate my hair so a wig can be made to help a kid.”
Make-A-Wish Australia have been operating since 1985, and have granted more than 10,000 wishes.
Make-A-Wish Australia chief executive officer Sally Bateman praised Ruby’s fundraising efforts.
“Ruby’s kindness to help other children is incredible and has been an inspiration to all of us. We are so pleased to see her beat her original goal, and so grateful for the support of her family in raising funds for critically ill children,” she said.
Currently, Make-A-Wish Australia has more than 800 seriously ill children waiting for a wish, due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The charity is the only Australian children’s charity that focuses exclusively on wishes.
Ruby had been planning to donate her hair since last year, and originally set her Make-A Wish goal to $1000. Once she surpassed that value, she raised the goal to $1500, not expecting to pass her extended goal.
“We didn’t really imagine that it would get to $2000,” Ms Clegg said.
“We are so grateful for everyone who donated… it’s such a worthy cause.”
The fundraiser will remain open for about two more weeks.
Ruby’s family, friends and school teachers have supported Ruby throughout her fundraising, many making their own donations.
“My teacher made me stand on a chair and had everyone clap for me,” Ruby said.
The big day arrived last month when Ruby and her mum travelled to Salon Seven in Warragul.
Ruby said it was “scary” making the change from having such long hair to short.
“Until it was styled it was still a bit scary,” Ms Clegg said.
“Rubes hasn’t had her hair this short since she was about two or three.”
Chopping her hair off has come with other benefit too, Ruby reports.
Her hair now sits above her shoulders, and she is able to curl and style it – which she wasn’t able to do before.
“It used to take forever to dry and if you wanted to straighten it, it would take an hour … it was just a messy bun for a really long time.”
The 42cm donated by Ruby will be enough to make a whole wig for a child experiencing hair loss, which was what she had aimed for.
Ruby’s family is proud of her achievement, however they say her donation is no surprise.
“I am super proud, but not surprised. Ruby has a huge heart she’s always thinking about everyone else,” Ms Clegg said.
To donate to Ruby’s fundraiser, visit https://fundraise.makeawish.org.au/