Yarn Wigs Give Kids With Cancer Something to Smile About
Two moms from Alaska have given kids with cancer something to smile about again. They’ve spun unfortunate, cancer-related hair loss into something magical. The Magic Yarn Project is a nonprofit that makes soft wigs using yarn, which is more comfortable for sensitive scalps than traditional synthetic wigs.
Palmer, Alaska-based founder Holly Christensen is an oncology nurse whose sister battled cancer.
“When my friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to make her a Rapunzel yarn wig. She was able to see her daughter just be a little girl again who was twirling around in her dress with her Rapunzel braid and having fun. This little girl who had been previously lost in this painful scary world of cancer,” Christensen said in the video on the organization’s website.
Christensen gathered a few friends together and made a few dozen yarn wigs. She also asked for yarn donations via Facebook, which caught the attention of Bree Hitchcock. An acquaintance through mutual friends, Hitchcock offered to help, and Christensen was in business.
“I converted our one-car garage into our Magic Yarn Workshop,” Christensen said.
The designs are modeled after Disney characters, such as princesses or even Captain Jack Sparrow. Princesses Elsa, Rapunzel, Belle and Moana are the top favorites for girls, while boys opt for Captain Jack Sparrow and various superheroes.
The Magic Yarn Project weaves in volunteers — teenagers, grandmothers, even great grandmothers — who set up their own wig-making chapters. They run workshops at schools and churches, supplied with “wig kits,” that come with pre-made crocheted beanies.
On average, 300 yarn wigs are mailed each month. The free wigs can be requested through the website. To date, volunteers have made 4,734 wigs and sent them to 32 countries. A GoFundMe campaign is asking your help to raise funds to deliver 200 wigs this holiday season. They are only $450 shy of their $10,000 goal.
People interested in helping out who can’t donate money can donate their time and skill. You can create your own yarn wig by watching the organization’s tutorial below. The Magic Yarn Project also provides a checklist for crocheters to ensure nothing is forgotten.
“There have been times a little voice inside myself says these are just wigs. But then we get e-mails and they tell us how much it meant to them to see them smiling again,” Christensen said.
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