A little boy with a big Afro and even bigger heart has been growing out his hair for the past year for charity.
Last April, nine-year-old Nathan Lee went to see his pediatrician and noticed his doctor was completely bald. Pediatrician Dr. Denton Hirsh then explained that he had shaved his hair for Balding for Dollars, a community event that raises money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Nathan had already been growing out his hair since September 2011 so he could get cornrows and was then inspired to raise money for the event. He and his doctor made a bet that if Nathan grew his hair, he would pledge $100. Hirsh ended up making a $400 donation.
After about a year and a half of boycotting haircuts, Nathan’s hair is about 10 inches long. He has also managed to raise $4,045, far exceeding his targeted $2,500.
“We never realized just how generous everyone would be,” said his mom, Lee Lee.
All their friends and family have reached out to the people they know to spread the word about the cause, including people they don’t know.
“A stranger just came up and went, ‘Wow, that’s some cool hair,’ ” said Lee.
Nathan was out shopping with his mother at the time and when he explained why he was growing out his hair, she immediately donated.
His hair has garnered so much attention that Lee joked they should put up a sign on the day of the event and have people make donations so they can touch the ‘fro.
While Nathan will be shaving it all off for the fundraising even, he won’t be sad to see it go.
“It’s for a good cause,” he said.
Nathan was exposed to charity work early on. When he was four years old, family friends went on a mission to Nicaragua and part of their work there was to visit orphanages. When Lee suggested that she and Nathan go through some of the things he didn’t use anymore, Nathan responded enthusiastically.
“I was quite surprised that as a four-year-old he was willing to give up toys,” Lee said.
“Nathan has always had a good heart,” added his dad, Randy. “He has always been a caring person.”
Visit www.baldingfordollars.com to donate to either Team Whistler or Team Nathan. Balding for Dollars will be held at the GLC at 3:30 p.m. on March 31.