Locks of Love

By Sofia L. & Cami J.

Mission Statement

“Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale.”

~Taken from the website “Locks of Love”

Locks of Love

Every year, approximately two million children are affected by devastating hair loss disorders. These children are not only battling to regain their hair, but also to recover the sense of normalcy that has been lost in their young lives. Locks of Love (LOL), aims to return that normalcy through hairpieces made from donated hair. As stated on the LOL website, “Locks of Love is devoted to helping every child suffering from medical hair loss, thus we do not discriminate as to the cause of hair loss…”. This charity is helping to improve the lives of affected children across America and Canada, and also inspiring millions of people along the way.

Donations & Victims

A Cause to Donate to

Locks of Love (LOL), is a charity that helps improve the self-esteem of children who have lost their hair due to medical reasons by providing wigs to them. Most of their patients have a condition called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is “a disease that causes sudden hair loss”. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks the body. In alopecia areata, the immune system produces antibodies that attack the hair follicles, causing a sudden loss of hair. Besides alopecia areata victims, LOL also provides wigs for chemotherapy patients. Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer, a disease in which cells multiply, spread, and destroy any healthy tissue they can. Some other patients include severe burn victims and children with skin disorders.

According to LOL, “The children who receive these hairpieces have lost more than their hair; they suffer from a loss of self”. Many of these children refrain from participating in common activities for their age, due to their hair loss. It makes them feel like they stick out. LOL strives to help these children feel more confident in who they are. They custom make each hairpiece for each child. LOL tries to help children fit in again.
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Growing By Support

Over the past eighteen years, Locks of Love (LOL) has grown into a huge organization, stretching across all fifty states and Canada. This charity is headed by Madonna Coffman, a previous alopecia areata victim, who recovered from the disease. Coffman’s daughter later developed the disorder, which inspired her to become fully committed to LOL. Madonna collected human hair donations in her garage until the new foundation’s office was available, in order to kick off support for the cause. According to the Locks of Love website, the charity received much of its support thanks to media. It gained a great deal of exposure through reviews on television shows, news channels, talk shows, and newspapers. These resources allowed LOL to spread awareness about child hair loss to North America.

Not many people were aware of alopecia areata (AA), and the difficult effects it causes on young children until Locks of Love came into play. Coffman was inspired to get as much support as possible for her daughter’s battle with AA, and for other children with the disorder. Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The New York Times and more were some of the first ways LOL was able to reach donors. Volunteers stretching around the states and Canada also assisted in advertising for the non-profit organization. This charity has been running off of the determination to regain some normalcy into affected patients’ lives.
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Helping the Community

LOL does many things for the community. They operate in all 50 states, as well has Canada. Their goal is to help every child that is suffering from hair loss. LOL strives to give patients more self respect. Another goal of theirs is to “help provide a foundation on which they can begin to rebuild their self esteem”. In addition, LOL inspires young people to help their community.

Take for example, Rachael Mowrer, a girl from Elkhart, Indiana who decided to donate her hair to LOL. According to her mother, “It was Rachael’s decision to donate her hair to Locks of Love. She did it in memory of her dad who lost his battle to cancer four months ago”. Since then, Rachael has continued to donate, because she feels good about helping patients. In fact, “Rachael loves short hair. But she plans to keep growing it out, chopping it off and donating it”. This is just one example of how LOL helps give people a way to honor loved ones, and do an act of kindness.

Changing Lives

LOL has been changing lives by increasing the number of wigs distributed yearly, since it was originally founded in 1997. Locks of Love has impacted AA and cancer patients by not only giving them self esteem, but also hope. Various television shows, newspapers, and websites have praised Locks of Love for their determination to support victims of adolescent hair loss. This reputation has also been approved by Charity Navigator, which rated LOL with three out of four stars overall. Charity Navigator also rated Locks of Love with four out of four stars in accountability and transparency. These statistics show how committed Locks of Love is with creating the best possible hair prosthetics for children.

In 2010, LOL’s primary revenue was greater than its program expenses, proving that its donations were greater than its expenses. Over $725,700 (100%) of contributions, gifts, and grants was donated in 2013. Locks of Love’s non-profit factor has been responsible for its ability to support permanently hair-damaged children in their struggle to live with a hair disorder. With an overall charitable score of 89.01, LOL is ranked as one of the most widespread charities in its category, according to Charity Navigator. Summoning support for AA and cancer patients nationwide has been the key to keeping Locks of Love running in the charitable race.

Spreading love to children in need!

Locks of Love Overview

Works Cited

"Consumer Hair Loss Information, Community and Support." Hair Loss & Alopecia Information & Support. What Really Works? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

"Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator | Home." Charity Navigator. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Garnick, Marc. "Cancer." World Book. C-Ch ed. Vol. 3. Willard: World Book, 2013. Print.

Levy, Janey. Alopecia Areata. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2007. Print.

"Locks of Love - Official Website." Locks of Love. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Welliver, Sarah. "Locks of Love Donations over 10 Years Help Elkhart Teen Honor Her Father Who Died of Cancer." The Truth [Elkhart] 2015: n. pag. Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.