It was nine years ago that Madonna
Coffman decided to take her hair loss and give others hope.
When she was in her 20s she developed a condition called Alopecia, a hair loss disease after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. A retired cardiac nurse, Coffman decided to start Locks of Love (locksoflove.com) where people could donate ten inches or more of their own hair for financially disadvantaged kids who had lost their hair due to the same condition. For a long time Coffman’s garage was full of mail and donated locks of hair.
The number of hairpieces has grown significantly since the organization’s inception in Dec. 1997.
Locks of Love is a non-profit organization helping children ten years old and younger who suffer from hair loss conditions who cannot afford wigs or hairpieces. Unlike some pieces, the locks do not require tape or glue but are custom-fitted for each head.
Many sponsors have come forward through the years to help, like Fantastic Sam’s Hair Salon and Glamour and Cosmopolitan Magazines have mentioned the organization in stories where celebrities and non-celebrities have donated their hair to the cause. You can sign up to donate or volunteer online for the Lake Worth, FL organization. There is also merchandise on the site such as a stuffed teddy bear and bracelet with proceeds going to the cause.
To date Matrix has awarded Locks of Love $60,000 to help their clients and The Hair Cuttery helps promote the cause year-round with sales and promotions. Child Magazine donated $5,000
Those in need of hairpieces can apply online or print out an application and mail it in. Along with the application goes two letters of recommendation, photos, and an essay about the child applicant. Applicants also submit tax information, tax letters, doctor information, and copy of medical diagnosis.
The organization accepts Visa and MasterCard.
You can also hold a fundraiser of your own for the organization or donate a ten-inch ponytail or braid.
Natural hair mailed in is cleaned, dried, and placed in a plastic bag then a padded envelope before mailing. All races, genders, and ages are accepted. Hair may be colored or permed, just not bleached. Hair cut years ago is usable if it has been stored in a ponytail or braid. You may pull curly hair straight to measure the minimum ten inches.
The majority of all hair donated comes from children wishing to help other children. Layered hair may be divided into multiple ponytails for donation.
Locks of Love is looking for volunteers in Palm Beach County, FL to open mail and write donor thank you cards.
For information call 561-963-1677.
Locks of Love fundraising events are going on all over the country and you can download your own kit on the website.