Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc.
I am nominating Maggie Varney, Founder & CEO of Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc for the Eagle Rare Life Award due to her selfless devotion to the children of Michigan.
In October 2003, Maggie Varney, a licensed cosmetologist with over 30 years experience in the beauty industry sought help for youth in Metro Detroit who had experienced hair loss due to cancer and other disorders. Her search revealed no Michigan based organization that provided appropriate wigs for children and teens, at no cost. Compelled to assist these children, she founded Wigs 4 Kids.
Over the course of 13 years, Maggie has helped over 3,000 children and teens in need. For the first 5 years of the organization, she paid for all expenses and did not receive an income from Wigs 4 Kids. She donated the space and all the necessary supplies in her 600 square foot salon before growing the organization and establishing a 3,000 square foot Wellness Center in June 2010. At the new facility, Maggie expanded the programming at Wigs 4 Kids to ensure that the children are able to heal emotionally, socially and psychologically from the trauma of hair loss through support services (classes, social activities, field trips & counseling).
Maggie personally works with the kids; spending countless hours to provide them with individualized care, understanding and comfort as she creates custom-made wigs that fit their head sizes perfectly. When she is not working with the children, she is constantly out in the community garnering support for the program; speaking at schools, churches, civic groups, businesses, hospitals and foundations.
When Maggie was a child, she lost her mother to a drunk driver and her father passed away when she was just a teenager. Being an orphan, losing her home and with the uncertainty of the future before her, Maggie knew exactly what it was like to be a frightened child faced with adversity. She took those tragedies and turned them into triumph: growing into a conscientious adult who leads by example and understands the value in giving back to help others. Maggie has lived a “rare life” and continues to share of her time, talent and treasure to make a difference for the children in our communities.
Maggie has now set her sight on what lies next for Wigs 4 Kids: she is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise funds and open a permanent brick-and-mortar forever home for the organization. Her Wellness Center is operated under leased space and with an ever-increasing need for services, Wigs 4 Kids must remain available to help the children of Michigan cope and continue to journey through their health challenges. If Maggie were to receive this award, she would utilize it to achieve this goal and help more children by providing them with wigs and support services.