Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Ashley Cushing holds up about 12 inches of Shan Hicks' hair after it was cut on Friday to be donated to Locks of Love. Hicks is a teacher at Hamilton Mill's Pre-K - Elementary and wanted to cut her hair infront of the students to teach them a lesson about the joy of giving.
Pre-K teacher donates to Locks of Love
A pre-K teacher wanted to teach her students the joy of giving during the holiday season. Shan Hicks cut 12-inches of hair to donate to Locks of Love.
BUFORD -- Shan Hicks of Buford has been growing her hair out for the last two years. She didn't do it for beauty or for a reward -- she did so she could donate her tresses to Locks of Love. On Friday morning, Hicks snipped her 12-inch ponytail off in front of the students at Hamilton Mill Pre-K School, where she teaches.
"My hair will continue to grow. I mean, its just hair. I'm married with three children, so who do I need to look nice for," she said with a laugh. "I did it for the children and I'm doing it for my heart, not for a story or anything. It's just something I know we need to teach our kids."
Her ultimate goal is to teach the children the joy of giving during the holiday season.
"This is the best way to show (the students) that Christmas is not about taking or getting gifts," Hicks said. "It's about giving to people who are less fortunate so they can have a better life."
And the Christmas spirit has spread throughout the small school. Hicks' coworkers support her decision 100 percent and want to teach the children to give more.
"There are a lot of kids who don't get anything and I think (our students) don't realize that," said Raegan Nuckles, who teaches the same class with Hicks. "They think that everybody gets toys, everyone is happy and no one gets sick. I like the idea of giving back, showing the little people to give back and how important it is. It's good to teach them now, so when they get older it won't just be about 'me' getting a toys."
Hicks decided to join the Locks of Love campaign for the first time after she gave birth to her twins six years ago. Eight months into the pregnancy, she delivered her son, Ethan and daughter, Victoria. Five days later, Ethan contracted necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious intestinal illness in premature babies. He was rushed to Scottish Rite in Atlanta for emergency surgery where the doctor predicted there was less than a 50 percent chance of survival.
After numerous surgeries and therapy, Ethan is living a normal life and is up to speed with his twin sister.
"My inspiration is my son," Hicks said. "Quite frankly, I'm very thankful. Whenever I have a chance (to give), I do."
Hicks plans to continue donating her hair every two years.
"I will do this again ... as long as I teach here, because it's about joy," she said. "I'm going to start growing it back out immediately."