When oncology nurse Holly Christensen learned that her friend's daughter was diagnosed with cancer, she wanted to do something to lift the little girl's spirits. She crocheted long strands of yarn into a Rapunzel-like hairstyle, adding a soft beanie for extra comfort. The result? A beautiful wig her friend’s daughter could wear to feel like a princess — in spite of her illness.
Once she saw how much her friend's daughter loved wearing the wig, the native of Palmer, Alaska decided to keep making them for other children to enjoy. She began hosting wig workshops and, eventually, turned her generous hobby into a real-life non-profit. And that's when she started her now-viral GoFundMe fundraiser, The Magic Yarn Project, which has raised nearly $70K of its $100K goal.
According to the American Cancer Society, childhood cancer affects more than 10,000 children under the age of 15 each year, and those rates have been steadily rising for decades. Given that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, GoFundMe profiled The Magic Yarn Project and its beautiful contributions to the cause. In an interview with the popular fundraising platform, Christensen said the project has "turned her life around" and she has loved watching donations pour in from all over the world. Martha Stewart Living reached out to Christensen for an update on how those donations have benefitted The Magic Yarn Project and its mission.
With the $70K they've raised so far, Christensen tells us they've made over 3,800 wigs for children in 29 different countries. They've also given them the opportunity to work with national volunteers. "We currently have 'Magic Makers' or volunteers actively making wigs in 19 states," she continued. "Though we have received donations of yarn, beanies, and crocheted accessories from people in 30+ states."
Now that the project has expanded, The Magic Yarn Project creates more than just princess wigs. They crochet different Superhero beanie styles and even have a Captain Jack Sparrow-inspired wig. The best part? All their wigs are currently gold in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
If you're interested in getting involved with The Magic Yarn Project, they recently updated their website with a list of supplies they need. They're still about $30K shy of their goal on GoFundMe, so monetary donations help too.
Feeling inspired? Watch how to easily make a pom-pom out of yarn — and embellish a wig: