Posted on December 11, 2013
’Tis the season, and there’s no better way to say “happy holidays” than by helping those in need. Yet with all the hustle and bustle of the yuletide, there isn’t always an abundance of time or money to spare. So, what if you could give back with resources already right at your fingertips? Embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season with these beauty-centric charities.
Wigs for Kids
For more than three decades, Wigs for Kids has been empowering children combating hair loss by providing hair replacement systems at no charge to their families. Founder Jeffrey Paul has made it his mission to improve the lives of these young individuals. “[Paul’s] goals have always been and will always be to help as many kids as he can,” says Fundraising and Special Events Director Margo Sokol. “It’s more than just giving them a custom wig. It’s about preserving their self-image and confidence so that they can live a normal life.” Sokol says that Paul’s hair and salon background further fuels his desire to help stylists across the nation “catch the vision and share his passion for helping kids,” and Wigs for Kids aims to reach more children through its continued partnerships with salons.
The requirements are simple: Hair should not be colored or permed, should be at least 12 inches long, clean and dry—wet hair cannot be used. Currently, more than 5,000 salons are active in the Wigs for Kids community by either donating hair or hosting fundraising events. Through the Ambassador and Affiliate Salon Networks, it’s easy to get involved. Activities for the two programs involve spreading the word of Wigs for Kids, ponytail harvesting, community engagement and sponsoring a child—the level of involvement is up to the stylist.
Children with Hair Loss
Launched in South Rockwood, MI, in September 2000, Children with Hair Loss (CWHL) also operates with a mission of providing free hair replacement systems to children with hair loss due to a medical condition. Founder Regina Villemure says the heart of the nonprofit is “just real people taking care of real children and making a real difference in their lives.” Witnessing her niece go through five years of leukemia treatment was Villemure’s inspiration to start CWHL, she says. “Life changes when you have a child in your family who’s been diagnosed with such a horrific disease.”
Now, CWHL provides hair replacement systems for more than 300 kids a year. These extensive kits include custom-designed pieces made from human hair that, according to Villemure, look natural and are breathable. The kits also include a band of hair to go underneath a hat or wrap, a head mount and a set of six hair care products provided by TIGI Pro Products—boys and girls receive different hair care packages, and CWHL has a standing partnership with the professional beauty line.
Because of her background in the hair industry, Villemure understands that time is a valuable commodity for stylists, so there are a number of ways to contribute to the cause. She says the donation process is easy; salons can request donation forms to give to clients, enabling the client to quickly and safely mail his or her donation. Salons can also volunteer to fit and style hairpieces for CWHL recipients. Additionally, stylists can host a variety of fundraising events, including a paper heart campaign that runs in the same vein as breast cancer awareness campaigns. She suggests visiting the CWHL website for ideas. Ultimately, it’s about bringing normalcy to these children’s lives, and “giving them back their self-esteem and their self-worth,” says Villemure.
Other Notable Charities
Locks of Love Pantene Beautiful Lengths Campaign—Be sure to check out Pantene’s National Donate Your Hair Day Angel Hair for Kids Celebrate the holidays this year and lend a hand to these organizations that work year-round to make a difference in the lives of thousands. Happy holidays! Photo Credit: Wigs for Kids