Wigs 4 Kids Fights for Children Amid Lawsuit Started by Ohio Nonprofit

It’s heartbreaking to think that a nonprofit would sue another charitable organization, especially one providing wigs and counseling to children suffering through illness in Michigan.  Yet that is exactly the situation affecting Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc. 

Here’s the backstory: In 2003, Maggie Varney the Founder & CEO of Wigs 4 Kids became aware of this need as there was no program in Michigan to help these children. Being a licensed cosmetologist, Maggie was certified to work with adult patients through the American Cancer Society for more than 20 years assisting them with the appearance-related side effects of their illness. It was through one of her classes for adults that she became aware from a 16-year old teen that there was no place a child could go to receive a wig. Maggie owned a salon and felt that she might be able to help children suffering too.

Maggie donated half the space and all of her personal time to start the program and it grew.   Two years into this growth, Wigs For Kids in Ohio contacted Maggie threatening legal action.  After Maggie agreed to change the charity’s name to Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, Inc. and service only Michigan children, the threats of legal action stopped.  The two organizations then coexisted for 14 years.  Maggie honored her commitments to the Ohio organization in every respect.  In fact, it is standard practice at Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan to refer out-of-state inquires to the Ohio organization.   

In 2010, Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan expanded into a Wellness Center with counseling services provided on-site.  The extra services caught the attention of the media and several very positive stories were published about the charity’s growth and services.  Unfortunately, this sparked threats from the Ohio organization to start all over again --- this time coming to a head in the form of a federal court lawsuit that demands Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan “cease and desist” in its current form.  In response to the filing, Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan quickly offered to take any steps necessary to make sure people understood the distinction between the two charities but attorneys for the Ohio organization said “nothing” along these lines would be sufficient.   

Maggie says of the Ohio organization:
 “We support their efforts since there are over 12,000 newly diagnosed cases of kids with cancer in the US every year and there should be more people doing this work. We have coexisted for 14 years and in that time, Wigs 4 Kids has helped over 4,000 children right here in Michigan. We work with all 8 hospitals that provide pediatric oncology and serve kids with other hair loss disorders. I am proud to say the charity has become a recognized name in Michigan homes over the last 14 years.  In fact, there are no other organizations that provide custom-made wigs & support services at no charge in the world. 

It appears to me that Wigs For Kids in Ohio is hoping to capitalize on the goodwill we have built up in Michigan with our local charity.  This is probably because we provide services to more children in Michigan in one year than the Ohio organization provides in the other 49 states.   We hope to be able to continue this rewarding work in Michigan.  But it saddens me deeply to think that we may have to use funds intended for the children to pay legal fees – which means that it is the kids & families in Michigan who will suffer.”

Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan is currently relying on legal services from Kirk, Huth, Lange & Badalamenti Law Firm.  Any legal questions should be directed to Raechel Badalamenti at: (586) 412-4900 or rbadalamenti@khlblaw.com. 

Holiday Treats Class Postponed

Dear Wigs 4 Kids Recipients & Families: your safety and comfort is our first priority! For this reason, we have chosen to cancel our holiday treats class this weekend and will be hosting a candy-making class in February to celebrate...

Volunteer at W4K with VolunteerMatch

Wigs 4 Kids is always looking for great volunteers and we have opportunities available through VolunteerMatch! If you are looking for ways to help us continue our mission at no cost to you, please click this link to learn...

Great Clips in MI Supports Wigs 4 Kids

A special thanks to Great Clips which has embraced Wigs 4 Kids and is sending in hair donations to support our program! Thirteen of their locations in nine Michigan cities sent in a giant box of hair. We can now create ten new...

Donating Stock to Wigs 4 Kids

Wigs 4 Kids has exciting news: we now have a brokerage account setup with Fidelity for anyone wishing to make a charitable contribution of stocks. Donating stock is a win-win: if you were to sell shares on your own, you would...

Do You Know of a Child in Need?

Do you know of a child in need of our services? Please refer them to us! At Wigs 4 Kids, we help everyone, charge nothing and turn no one away. Founded in 2003, we have provided wigs & support services to over 4,000 Michigan children in...

NEW Wigs 4 Kids Holiday Cards Available

Wigs 4 Kids holiday cards are available in 5 NEW designs featuring the beautiful photography of Anne Nicolazzo who serves on our Board of Directors. Cards with envelopes come 10 to a package and are $10 each. Save on two packs of cards at $15!...

#GivingTuesday through the CFC

November 28th marks Giving Tuesday! To our friends in the CFC, Wigs 4 Kids would like to take this time and thank you for your support. If you would like to make a donation that will change a child’s life, please visit:...

Holiday Treats Class

Dear Wigs 4 Kids Recipients & Families: our final class of the year will be held on Saturday, December 16th from 12:00 - 2:00 pm at our Wellness Center in St. Clair Shores. Join us to make delicious holiday treats! We will learn how to...

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Happy Thanksgiving from Wigs 4 Kids! We hope you enjoy a blessed day with your loved ones. We're thankful for the opportunity to help these children & their families and appreciate the many supporters who help us make a difference every...

Michigan Masons Award $50,000 to Wigs 4 Kids

Wigs 4 Kids was overwhelmed with gratitude to the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation and our local lodge Roseville #66 for their $50,000 grant! We applied for support and out of the 40 applications they received from nonprofits this...

Wigs 4 Kids is Part of the CFC 2017

The Combined Federal Campaign for 2017 is underway and Wigs 4 Kids is honored to be one of the nonprofits involved. The CFC offers the chance for federal employees to give back to causes they care about through monetary donations and volunteering....

Festival of Trees Field Trip Photos!

Heartfelt thanks to Theresa and her team at the Festival of Trees for inviting our Wigs 4 Kids families to be part of their Holiday Hearts event! Our kids made crafts, enjoyed face painting, treats, shopping and carols. Each...

Wigs 4 Kids Seeking XL Baskets for Holidays

On our Wigs 4 Kids wishlist this year are extra large baskets to fill for the holidays. If you have gently-used or new baskets you would be willing to donate, please deliver them to our Wellness Center at: 30126 Harper Avenue St. Clair Shores, MI...

Heartfelt Thanks to South Lake Schools!

Heartfelt thanks to the staff, students and parents of South Lake Schools who have embraced our Wigs 4 Kids program over the years. They work hard to raise awareness, funds and donate hair to help us continue our mission of serving local children in...
Sponsor a Child Receive a Wig

Get More Information

* Indicates required questions
Name *
First
Last
Email *
I am interested in...
How can we help you? *

Check Out Our Wellness Center: