Thank you for your interest in Wig Initiative Group.
A cancer diagnosis is frightening and often emotionally devastating. For many women, cancer treatment results in partial or total hair loss. Facing the world and feeling confident about herself can feel impossible to a woman who has not only undergone lumpectomy or mastectomy, but now is also experiencing partial or total hair loss. Confidence can help pull a woman through the inevitable ups and downs of cancer treatment. Hair replacement options and self care support are key to that confidence. A wig can be a small gesture that provides a huge impact.
Wig Initiative Group, AKA WIG, was founded in 2012. It has grown from a small collection of gently used wigs to over 1300 delivered to women in need. Our focus is underserved women without access to wigs, or head covering after hair loss begins. We collect gently used wigs, hats, alternative headwear, prostheses, and unused toiletries from those who no longer have the need for them. All items are sorted and cleaned by volunteers and are then ready to be received by those who lack financial resources. WIG is committed to providing and distributing these items to those in cancer treatment throughout the world.
ONE wig can make a difference in a woman’s self-esteem and confidence to face the world during what may be the most challenging time in her life.
As a hairdresser, I specialize in hair loss in cancer patients. The collection of wigs began when many of my “after chemo” clients wanted to discard their gently used wigs, many of which were in great condition. Wig Initiative Group became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2017, and now provides funding and distribution of wigs to women anywhere in the world including the U.S. Your dollars enable us to now also purchase NEW wigs whenever possible.
W.I.G. strives to restore self-esteem in under-served women of all ages with renewed confidence in their outward appearance as well as inner spiritual peace and self-love while healing from the side effects of cancer treatment. We provide guidance and direction with an emphasis on how the importance of transformation during this time will help heal and genuine confidence from within shines through.
WIG would not be what it is without an amazing team. Allow me to introduce WIG to you.
Andrea Torre, President and Chief Wig Collector. Works alongside WIG’s tireless team to collect, clean and ship wigs wherever and whenever a need is requested.Fitting and styling wigs for patients facing hair loss for over 30 years, my goal is to ensure WIG is available to every patient in need and provide hair, wig and scalp care to everyone that seeks our help.
Tami Reilly, WIG Vice President, is our Health and Wellness Director. She is an advocate and resource for survivor groups focusing on mind, body and self-care practices providing assistance to those needing strategies to better cope with physical and emotional changes related to their cancer treatment.
Alicia Dallai, WIG Treasurer, is WIG’s principal fundraiser, networker and collaborates with outside resources creating unique fundraising activities. As WIG’s Goodwill Ambassador when travelling on global visits, she distributes necessary products and toiletry “swag bags” to women during our patient visits.
Sarah Calatayud, WIG Secretary, provides communications support and technical assistance to help introduce and publicize WIG to those who want to learn more and support our mission.
We have been fortunate to have collaborated and build amazing partnerships along our journey. Our vision here at WIG is to continue to build partnerships and collaborate with other groups in whatever capacity we can to grow WIG and sustain our programs to help as many women as possible. If you are also inspired to do so, please contact us for more information.
Vida y Esperanza, Guatemala City, Guatemala
This group of cancer survivors from Guatemala City accepts our wig donations and in turn, delivers them to the cancer treatment centers and clinics. This provides an opportunity for women in their community to have access to a much-needed wig or head covering. They are able to fit and style the wig for each recipient as well as provide suggestions for its care and maintenance. We have named this collaboration The Mariposa Project and are thrilled to be able to assist our partners with providing an impactful moment of care for their community. Creating something that is sustainable is of importance for WIG.
The Phyllis Wheatley Temple #51, Philadelphia
The Phyllis Wheatley Temple #51 is our largest single wig donator to date. In 2017, they held the first ever “WIG & Wine” event in our honor and collected over 210 wigs and alternative headwear for WIG. We are delighted to have this collaboration with The Phyllis Wheatley Temple #51.
On a personal note, I was diagnosed in 2015 with invasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer). While my surgery and treatment are behind me, and my prognosis is excellent, I continue to look ahead and work alongside women everywhere to support them in their personal journey.
Thanks again for all you do and for your continued support for WIG - #wiglove!
President, Wig Initiative Group