By Iuliana Petre
The Cove Herald
When 9-year-old Angelia Gorman heard from a friend at church that she'd cut her long hair and donated it to Locks of Love - a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss - Angelia asked her father if she could do it, too.
"She talked to me about it and I told her that we'd find out more about it," said Joseph Gorman, Angelia's father.
But, finding a hairdresser in their hometown of Copperas Cove proved to be a challenge. Gorman called about 10 hairdressers who all recommended someone else.
"It was harder than I thought to find someone," Gorman said.
Returning to church some time later, Gorman asked the girl who inspired Angelia's haircut where she'd had hers done. That's how Gorman found Maria Carr, a hairdresser in Killeen who works at the Serene Nails & Day Spa on Stan Schlueter Loop.
Carr has been cutting hair for Locks Of Love for about the last eight years at no charge to her customers. She even packages and ships the hair to Locks Of Love's headquarters in Florida in the way that Locks Of Love requires.
In the last eight years, Carr has cut more than 20 children's hair for Locks Of Love and news about Carr's free haircuts for Locks Of Love have all traveled through word of mouth.
"I know how vital hair is and how it makes you feel," Carr said. "A little bit makes a big difference."
And on the day when Carr cut Angelia's hair, she tied the hair back into a ponytail and took off about 15 inches.
The cut made the little girl smile.
"She went to a short bob," Carr said. "Angelia's hair was a little bit past her waist." Providing a service to the community in support of Locks Of Love makes Carr feel good. But, she's not the only one. "It touched my heart that my daughter wanted to do this," Gorman said. "In the long run this is going to help somebody that we'll never meet, some little girl is going to benefit."
Gorman, who lost his mother - Angelia's grandmother - to cancer when he was a teenager, knows the importance of talking to his children about the disease. "She never met her grandma, but it feels like there's a connection there," Gorman said.
Angelia's approach is just one way to support those who are battling cancer. To contact Maria Carr at the Serene Nails & Day Spa in Killeen, call (254) 526-4300.
For more information about Locks of Love, go to www.locksoflove.org.