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Sisters spread charitable spirit with double donation

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Sisters Kristal, 10, (left) and Leanna Kelly, 12, will be cutting their lovely long locks on June 25 in support of two charities. The girls will be raising funds for Make-A-Wish Canada and will be donating their hair to make wigs for children with illness.
Sisters Kristal, 10, (left) and Leanna Kelly, 12, will be cutting their lovely long locks on June 25 in support of two charities. The girls will be raising funds for Make-A-Wish Canada and will be donating their hair to make wigs for children with illness.
Allison Chorney / Rocky View Publishing

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On June 25, local sisters Leanna, 12, and Kristal Kelly, 10, will be cutting their almost waist-length hair to their chin in support of two charities that support children with illness.

The girls, in Grade 7 and Grade 5 at Our Lady Queen of Peace School, said they are doing this to help others, something that has long been an important value in the Kelly household, according to their mom Violeta Kelly.

“Our family is pretty much geared towards helping kids and others,” Kelly said. “(The girls) have always had a heart for little children. They want to help.”

Leanna said she started thinking about cutting her hair for charity a few months ago and asked her sister if she’d like to do it with her.

“I was going to shave my head but this is already a real sacrifice to me so I thought I’d start small,” she said.

The girls are raising funds, which they will then donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and as of May 27 they had raised $700 but they are hoping to raise $2,000.

“In our church (Living Springs Christian Fellowship) Jayden (Phaneuf) the pastor’s son died because of cancer,” Kristal said. “His hair all fell out and we’re doing it in honour of him.”

Jayden died last year at the age of six but before he passed, the Make-A-Wish Foundation sent Jayden and his family to Disney World in Florida in 2011.

Once the sisters cut their lovely long locks, the hair (about 13 to 14 inches for each girl) will be sent away and used to make wigs for children with cancer.

“We want to give kids the feeling like they have hair,” Kristal said.

“Since we were very young we’ve wanted to make a difference in the world,” Leanna added.

The family became involved in charity work when they were living in Europe and lost their younger brother when he was five months old.

When he died the family asked for donations to an orphanage in Latvia in lieu of flowers and ended up with a sizable amount of funds that helped rebuild the orphanage.

The girl’s father Ray has long been participating in missionary work, and Kelly said the family would like to do missionary work together in the future.

The girls said in addition, they hope to help support an orphanage in need when they are older.

“(Charity work) teaches our children sacrifice and to put others first,” Kelly said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing our girls are doing.”

“Even if you don’t want to cut your hair and just want to raise money, every donation helps,” Kristal said.

“Even if you don’t raise that much the children will be smiling.”

“I think to make a difference you start small,” Leanna said. “Just donating even a toonie makes a difference in the world.”

“It makes not only (the people you help) happy, but is also makes you happy,” Kristal said of the fundraiser and hair donation.

“It’s something that’s worth doing,” Leanna said.

“It is a sacrifice but it’s worth doing it and it really makes you think about others and how you can help.”

To donate to the girl’s efforts, visit leannakristal.ravalak.ca


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