Ralph Graves: A caring young girl


I am writing to express my disappointment in your newspaper and how you choose your articles. After reading the article about Rebecca Lea donating her hair to Locks of Love, I was so furious I could hardly see straight.

About a month ago you were approached by my sister-in-law regarding her 7-year-old daughter's decision to donate her hair to the same organization. You refused to do an article, saying something along the lines of you have had enough of those types of stories, that they were a dime a dozen. You single-handedly broke the heart of a little girl whose unselfish act deserved praise. When most kids her age are more interested in video games and their next candy fix, she meticulously took care of her hair - washing, conditioning and keeping the ends from getting split. Her hair has grown since she was born and she decided to keep her hair growing long after she saw a hairless child of the same age. She has wanted to donate her hair for the last two years and has been patiently waiting for it to grow long enough so she could do so. That says a lot about her patience, character, love, compassion and dedication, all for somebody she will never have a chance to meet.

I have never been so proud of a young person as I was with her. She has shown a lot of maturity, thoughtfulness and unselfishness in her decision, something that most children and some adults won't ever come close to having. This little girl is growing up to be a lady, and none of that matters today.

People would rather hear about Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton and their selfish and adolescent adventures. It makes me sick to my stomach that you would refuse to do an article and tell her mother that it wasn't a newsworthy story and then, in less than a month, turn around and do an article on a grown woman who does the same thing. While Mrs. Lea's donation is thoughtful and I applaud her, you completely destroyed a little girl's hard work and dedication.

For your readers that are reading this letter, the young lady I have written about is my niece. Her name is Taylor Sanchez, and she has done something amazing and deserving of attention. She has given an example of how there are people that care. I am very proud of her, and I look up to her for showing the hard work, dedication and care that it took to do such a thing.

It takes a long time to grow hair that long without it being damaged and keep it in good enough condition so a wig can be hand-woven. Her hair was like long, blonde silk, and she tried ever so hard to keep it that way and now she is starting all over again. To decide to do something at such a young age and work at it for almost two years without changing her mind is admirable.

I ask that you print this article so that the people of Routt County know that there is a young lady growing up in South Routt who will become a classy, caring and amazing woman.

Ralph Graves



Camo181 10 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Graves -- Taylor is an awesome child to be caring enough to donate her hair so other children who are suffering can benefit from it -- and only 7 years old! We could learn a lot from your niece, and others like her. Thank you so much for bringing this to the pubic's attention. And Taylor, cudos to you--keep on caring about others like you have demonstrated--maybe you'll grow up and become President of the US--we'll vote for you!!! God bless you young lady, and thank you Mr. Graves for speaking out--what a wonderful, caring family!!


Camo181 10 years, 2 months ago

And, Steamboat Pilot -- shame on you for not reporting on this! You really missed the ball on this one. A 7 year old girl with these kinds of goals!!! What a human interest story...and only 7 years old!! Wow! And you think tattos are newsworthy...


id04sp 10 years, 2 months ago

In the first place, the hair donation story WAS just a lot of fluff and should not have been carried at all.

In the second place, if a child needs her picture in the paper in return for doing a good deed, then it's not a gift. It's a trade.

I encourage everyone to do good for others in the spirit of true charity, and anonymously. That's how we make the world better.


mkbar 10 years, 2 months ago

id04sp - Does it make you feel better to belittle the charitable efforts of a child? I don't care in the least what the motivations were of the person who donated the hair for my child's wig. I thank you Mrs. Lea and Miss Sanchez.


id04sp 10 years, 2 months ago

Puzzle me this one, mkbar.

How did this 4-year-old little child become aware of such a program, was it her idea to participate, and oh, who told her about the Steamboat Pilot?

The child did a great thing. Undoubtedly, her parents were behind it 100%. No child this age has the empathy and instincts necessary to independently undertake such a project. Shouldn't we really be thanking her publicity-seeking elders? Yes, I think that's who we should thank.

Thank you. I'm sure the girl's hair will be a welcome blessing to some other person suffering from cancer.

Thank you MORE to all the people who undertake charitable acts without needing to have their names printed in the newspaper, and especially to those whose anonymous efforts benefit anonymous recipients.

I guess my point is that a genuinely charitable act that goes unrecognized by the local newspaper would not be cause for anyone to get their panties in a knot.

Is the fair market value of the hair considered to be a deductible charitable gift? Just wondering.


Dave Moloney 10 years, 1 month ago

Way to go Taylor! I'm sure your donation was most appreciated by the person on the receiving end. I'm sadly not surprised if the Pilot's response was "we've had enough of that kind of story." Can we have too much good news? When the paper needs filler stories so they can sell more ad space, I'd much rather see it wrapped around something like this than yet another story about Brittney Spears or Anna Niclole Smith.


id04sp 10 years, 1 month ago


I agree with YOU. Dump the airheads and old ladies and cover kids who still have a chance to grow up to do something useful.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.