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Klaus DeBoer

Klaus DeBoer shows off his dreadlocks. He raised over $2,500 to help LWR provide clean water systems to communities around the world.

Dread-ful Fundraiser for Clean Water

By Amy Burke

Klaus DeBoer never liked haircuts. He dreaded the buzzing of clippers and the close calls his ears endured from scissors. By high school, he decided to set himself apart in such a way that he could combine his hatred of hair maintenance with a desire for asserting his own identity. The solution was simple — he stopped washing his hair. 

It was not glamorous, but it did set Klaus apart. And three and a half years later, his clumped and separated hair had finally become a hairstyle. After many strange looks and everyone’s eventual acceptance of the dreadlocks, Klaus had accomplished his goal. 

As Klaus got closer to graduating high school and heading off to college, he contemplated chopping off his dreads and starting college anew. Instead, he remembered a story about another student who had cut his hair on the last day of school after receiving hundreds of dollars in donations — and that gave Klaus an idea. 

Klaus’ National Honor Society was in the process of planning a charity fundraiser but they had not yet decided where to donate the money. Klaus suggested purchasing a Community Water System from Lutheran World Relief’s Gifts Program. After an LWR speaker came to his church, Klaus had been intrigued by the water system gift and began saving his personal earnings to purchase one. He decided that he might be able to boost donations if he used his hair as a fundraising platform.

It was decided. The George-Little Rock Community High School National Honor Society would have a fundraiser focused on Klaus’ hair and donate proceeds to LWR.

At first, the fundraiser was designed as a raffle and the lucky winner would get to cut Klaus’ hair. But some students wanted Klaus to keep his dreadlocks. So the fundraiser became a vote. Tickets of varying prices could be bought and put in “cut” or “not to cut” buckets.  Interest in the fundraiser grew, and other members of the school and community soon got involved.

When the votes were tallied, the overwhelming majority voted for Klaus to keep his hair (1,050 to 500).  Most importantly, the school raised more than $2,500 – enough money to purchase five community water systems!

Klaus graduated with a full head of dreadlocks, knowing that his hairstyle had done more than just turn heads. “Even as the check had been sent to LWR and the fun of the vote was over, I knew that five communities would be able to safely quench their thirst far into the future,” said Klaus.

LWR is grateful for Klaus and the entire George-Little Rock Community High School in Boyden, Iowa for sharing God’s gift of water with communities in need.

Click here to find out how you can change lives with an LWR Gift.

Amy Burke is LWR’s Program Assistant for Creative Services & Marketing.

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