Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Nicole Danesi, Communications Coordinator at A Child’s Voice Foundation, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.
Falling through the cracks of Canada’s government and insurance care are thousands of sick children from financially disadvantaged families across the prosperous nation of Canada. Each child has a unique need resulting from a mental or physical illness, oftentimes requiring financial support their families simply cannot afford. A Child’s Voice Foundation works to fill these cracks through our Angel Hair for Kids and Kids Life Line programs, both of which assist sick kids and their families across the country.
Angel Hair for Kids – It’s more than just hair
When a child loses his or her hair due to a mental or physical illness, it is an emotionally difficult time for both the child and his or her family. Not only is a child dealing with the reality of an illness such as cancer, the hair loss triggered by some treatments can diminish a child’s confidence or self-esteem. For less well known conditions such as Alopecia, a condition which prevents one from growing their own hair, or trichotillomania, a mental health condition that causes an individual to compulsively pull out their own hair, children are often bullied at school. These children have to deal with both the reality of their medical illness, and the alienation that can follow.
For ten years, A Child’s Voice Foundation’s Angel Hair for Kids program has provided financially disadvantaged children with wigs and/or hair loss solutions free of charge. The program, unique to Canada, aims to reestablish the child’s confidence and self-esteem during an extremely difficult time in their young lives.
Every year Angel Hair for Kids receives more requests for assistance and requires more support from both its hair and financial donors. Hair donors are required to cut a minimum of 12 inches of untreated hair which is then used to manufacture a wig unique to its recipient. Growing hair long enough to donate is a big investment of time, and each wig uses between 10 and 12 ponytails and costs between $800.00 and $1000.00 to sponsor one Angel Hair for Kids child.
With the generous hair and financial donations from people like Selina, a seven year old donor, Angel Hair for Kids has been able to assist over 500 children since the program began in 2004. Not only did the pint-sized philanthropist donate 13.5 inches of her hair for the program, she set a fundraising goal of $1000.00, the cost of one wig. Using a CanadaHelps GivingPage, Selina raised over $2700.00 – enough to sponsor almost three Angel Hair for Kids children!
Kids Life Line – It’s their last resort
Alongside the foundation’s national Angel Hair for Kids program, A Child’s Voice Foundation also runs its regional Kids Life Line program, which is specific to the province of Ontario. The program works with a child’s social worker and/or medical practitioner to fund a variety of requests and is oftentimes the last resort for the families of sick and financially disadvantaged children struggling to receive the necessary support
Kids Life Line requests range from parking costs to nursing care, camps or therapies, and oftentimes medications or equipment necessary for an ill child’s overall health and wellbeing. All requests have been previously denied or only partially funded by insurance or government health care plans and otherwise cannot be afforded by the child’s family. Each request is unique to each child and family, and without our assistance many children would simply go without the necessary medication, equipment, treatment or care they desperately need.
The need for both of our programs far exceeds our resources, and unfortunately, we’re not always able to keep up with the demand. Our generous donors of all ages keep our programs running, and with their support, we hope to spread the word and inspire others to take up the cause of the children we serve.
A Child’s Voice Foundation is a national charitable organization which has focused on bettering the mental and physical lives of sick and financially disadvantaged children since it was founded in 1995 by its current Executive Director, Roslyn Yearwood. The national foundation runs two programs, Angel Hair for Kids and Kids Life Line, both assisting children up to 19 years of age. Learn more about A Child’s Voice Foundation on their charity profile page >>
Want to learn more about Angel Hair for Kids? Read this story of two six year-old girls who donated twice. Sisters Giving a Piece of Themselves.