Lake Shore High School will be hosting a Wigs 4 Kids fundraiser in March of 2019. Liz Stacheit, junior, has been coordinating the event for the past few months in the hopes of receiving as many donations as possible.
Stacheit explains that “Wigs 4 Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides children that lose their hair for various reasons with wigs at no cost to their families.” She adds that community members and Lake Shore alumni alike are all welcome to participate in the drive.
Originally, Stacheit had no intentions of directing a school-wide fundraiser; she simply wanted to donate her hair. However, upon further research of Wigs 4 Kids she discovered “that it takes at least ten to twelve ponytails of donated hair to make a wig for a small child. It takes even more ponytails to make a wig for an older child.” This got her thinking, and she ultimately decided that the best way to encourage others to donate would be to conduct a fundraiser through the school.
In order for a person to be eligible to donate their hair, their hair must be devoid of color dye treatment, and must be a minimum of 7 inches in length. Stacheit explains, “Wigs 4 Kids only accepts dye free hair because they do not want to expose the children to harmful chemicals found in bleach and dyes, and most children are in their wigs for at least 3-5 years, so the wigs need to be able to withstand wear and tear, and dyed hair is not as strong as natural hair.”
Stacheit has high hopes for the drive saying, “We hope that we can get at least 100 people to donate their hair, but it would be great to get even more people to donate.” She has decided to start promoting the event a year in advance to give students and staff enough time to grow out their hair. While discussing the planning process, Stacheit reveals that, “We are currently in the process of spreading the word of the hair drive. Maggie Varney [Wigs 4 Kids founder and CEO and Lake Shore alumni] and I are going to visit Kennedy in the spring to tell the incoming freshmen about the hair drive and give them the opportunity to grow out their hair.” She adds that “The Wigs 4 Kids staff is planning on coming to Lake Shore next fall to discuss the impact that Wigs 4 Kids has made on children in need.”
Wigs 4 Kids has helped out one Shorian in particular, Kara Wolfbauer, junior. Wolfbauer has alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. She explains how Wigs 4 Kids gave her more than just a wig, they gave her confidence, saying, “Wigs 4 Kids gave me a confidence that I wasn’t able to find within myself at the time I lost my hair. When I walked into the Wigs 4 Kids doors I was scared, but they made me feel so comfortable and welcome. They offered me many ways to cope with alopecia and express my thoughts and feelings.”
Wolfbauer plans on giving back to the Wigs 4 Kids foundation by participating in the drive, as her hair has fully grown back. She states, “As long as my hair continues to grow and doesn’t fall out I plan on growing it out as long as I can to help those that needed confidence just like me. I would do anything to give back to the place that made me feel comfortable and confident when I needed it most.”
Just like Stacheit, Wolfbauer has some expectations for the drive, saying, “I just hope people will actually show up and donate to this amazing cause. It takes a lot more hair than you would think just to make one wig, so I’m hoping for the biggest turn out possible.” While discussing the cause behind the drive, Wolfbauer adds, “These kids just want to feel like they fit in and the only way that can happen is if people donate their hair. Wigs 4 Kids did that for me when I needed it, and I hope Lake Shore High School can help do that for others that need it too.”
Start growing out your hair, Shorians, and help donate to this amazing cause.