Last Saturday in what turned out to be a landmark service project, over 400 people crowded the Wilkinson Center ballroom to create Disney-themed wigs for kids with cancer. The project, sponsored by The Magic Yarn Project and the BYU College of Nursing, was a massive success.
The Magic Yarn Project co-founder Holly Christensen works with volunteers to prepare a Moana wig.
“I did not expect to have so many people show up,” Holly Christensen, a BYU College of Nursing alumna and co-founder of The Magic Yarn Project, says.
The Magic Yarn Project is a non-profit group started by Christensen in Alaska. It relies entirely on donors and volunteers to make the soft-yarn hairpieces, so the BYU event represented a huge increase in both productivity and publicity.
“We’ve never done a workshop this big,” she says. “I’m completely touched and overwhelmed by how many people came and it’s hard for me not to get too emotional thinking about it but it’s been awesome.”
Volunteers make Moana-inspired wigs
During the course of the five-hour project, 185 wigs were made, with styles ranging from Elsa to Jack Sparrow to Rapunzel and other Disney-related characters. This was a record number for the Magic Yarn Project, and during the event, many participants were touched by the potential impact of their work.
“I really enjoyed this,” student Dhina Clement says. “I definitely felt like this was the most productive that I have ever been.”
Nursing student Jessica Wright agrees. “This is an awesome volunteer experience because you feel like what you’re doing is helping someone,” she says. “You can imagine having the wig on a little girl’s head and how happy she’ll be when she sees it.”
Students were not the only ones working—many members of the wider Utah Valley community arrived, oftentimes with large amounts of children in tow in order for many hands to make light work.
“I heard about this through a friend from work, and I thought it was just a great idea to come and just put my effort into it for any of the kids who need it,” says Esme Still, whose children worked beside her. In addition, five nursing professors were also present braiding and preparing wigs.
The Wilkinson Center ballroom was completely full of volunteers. 185 wigs were made in the five-hour project.
Around half of the wigs made at this event will be given to patients at Primary Children’s Hospital, while others will be sent to patients in Louisiana and Arizona. The impacts of the project, however, extend also to the participants, who felt grateful to have been able to contribute to the event.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to bring some joy to some people and it was really easy and fun and simple,” student Sam Smith says. “It’s nice to wake up on a Saturday morning and do something for someone else.”
Anyone interested in future volunteer opportunities with The Magic Yarn Project should visit http://www.themagicyarnproject.com/.