Locks of love (and magic).
Fortunately, there’s a charity committed to sewing some good into the world, one yarn wig at a time.
Allow us to introduce you to The Magic Yarn Project, a nonprofit started by Holly Christensen and Bree Hitchcock in 2015. Since its launch two years ago, the Alaska-based charity has created nearly 4,000 wigs for children diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to more than 3,000 crafty volunteers carefully spinning and knitting yarn into Disney-themed wigs for children, the nonprofit organization is helping kids feel and look their best while battling cancer.
Christensen, a part-time orthopedic nurse who once worked in the oncology unit, came up with the idea for The Magic Yarn Project when her friend’s 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Aware of the effects of chemotherapy, such as hair loss and sensitive scalp, Christensen set about creating a soft wig out of yarn to cover the child’s head, as opposed to using a traditional, synthetic wig.
"I thought she [friend’s daughter] would enjoy a Rapunzel yarn wig, since I knew that losing her hair would likely be difficult," Christensen told Cosmopolitan.com.
Once Christensen saw the toddler, who is now in remission, respond favorably to the knitted wig, she enlisted the help of her friends to make long, flowy manes for other children fighting the disease. In addition, Christensen took to Facebook to ask for yarn donations. After the request went viral in September 2015, that’s when Hitchcock got involved, lending her graphic design skills and raising money for the cause through GoFundMe.
To date, The Magic Yarn Project has created wigs for cancer-stricken children in more than 29 countries, with the charitable venture boasting the following tagline: “magic speaks every language.” You can learn more about the organization’s backstory and initiative in the video posted below.
From Belle and Ariel to Elsa and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, the volunteers have crafted many intricate princess-inspired hair designs. But it’s not all about Disney’s damsels in distress, as The Magic Yarn Project creates wigs for young boys that mirror Captain Jack Sparrow, Spider-Man, and the heroes in a half shell—the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
According to Christensen, the wigs are relatively simple to make. They each start with a beanie cap and take approximately two hours to make, depending on the style. Whether you’re an expert knitter or novice, you can help to make wigs and cards or donate materials to benefit young kids affected by cancer.
If you’re interested in delivering a little magic and enchantment to a child undergoing treatment, learn how to crochet your way to a good cause here.