Hebron Valley Elementary Student Gives Meaningful Gift
Third-grader donates hair for important cause
Dec. 20, 2018 — Throughout this school year, Lewisville ISD (LISD) schools are focusing on spreading kindness, remembering that even the smallest of gestures can create the largest of waves. As winter break rapidly approaches, many within the LISD community are now likely familiar with the #LISDBEKIND initiative. But, spreading kindness didn’t just start this school year as kindness has always been present in LISD schools and students often perform acts of kindness.
Meet Olive Sterling. Sterling, a third-grader at Hebron Valley Elementary, likes the pixie haircut she’s had since the beginning of the school year. She usually keeps her hair a bit longer, at chin-length, but either way, she prefers wearing her hair short and avoiding tangles. But for three years, Sterling grew her hair out, as she had a goal in mind — she wanted to donate her locks to Children With Hair Loss, an organization that focuses on providing human hair replacements to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss.
“My mom and I looked online for different organizations,” Sterling said. “We looked for a long time, and we found this one. We believed in their mission to help kids who can’t grow enough hair.”
In late summer, Sterling finally reached her goal. She visited a hair salon in Frisco, where her mother’s stylist cut off 11 inches of Sterling’s hair.
“It makes me feel proud of myself that I donated 11 inches of my hair to make a wig for a child with no hair,” Sterling said. “I had been hoping to donate my hair since kindergarten.”
When Sterling’s principal Tina Krol found out about Sterling growing out her hair for donation, she said she immediately smiled.
“Olive is such a neat child,” Krol said. “If anyone would think to grow out her hair just to donate it, of course it would be Olive Sterling. She isn’t the bragging type, but after one conversation with her, it is evident that she is mature beyond her years. She has a tenacious love for learning and keen awareness of social-emotional needs of those around her.”
When Hebron Valley’s first Rockstar Pep Rally rolled around, Krol knew she had to recognize Sterling for her kind and gracious act.
“It is exactly what we want and hope for our children,” Krol said. “We want to create leaders that seek opportunities to be kind and selfless without being told to do it. And, this was a large time commitment, this took years of planning and continued selflessness. For many, their hair is a big part of their appearance and even identity, and her being willing to have hair that wasn’t her preferred style is just the perfect example of her continued selflessness.”
Sterling’s teachers, Kristen Houst and Hollie Smith said they were in awe to hear about Sterling’s donation to Children With Hair Loss.
“We were amazed that someone so young has such a big heart,” they said. “This generous act speaks to the kind of person Olive is. She is kind, caring, and warm-hearted and is always thinking of others. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and go the extra mile to make others feel good.”
They added, “Olive is very encouraging, and we can’t wait to see what this special young lady will do next.”
For Sterling, she hopes she has made a difference in a child’s life and confessed this isn’t a one-time donation.
“I hope I inspired somebody else to donate their hair, too,” she said. “I hope people realize that you might have really nice hair and other people don’t have any hair at all, and it is a wise choice to help them. I am going to grow out my hair again and donate it to the same organization, hopefully in seventh-grade.”
Hebron Valley Elementary is a Carrollton, Texas elementary school in the Lewisville Independent School District. Follow Hebron Valley on Facebook and Twitter to see more student experiences throughout the school year or visit LISD.net for more information about our district.