When Locks of Love first began, it was connected with a for-profit wig retailer. In December 1997, the organization obtained its 501(c)(3) certification from the IRS. With the installation of a volunteer Board of Directors, the charity began operating as an entity unto itself under its bylaws and separated from the for-profit retailer. This initiative was spearheaded by Madonna Coffman, a cardiac nurse who had a great deal of volunteer experience working with not-for-profits in the surrounding Palm Beach area.
When Mrs. Coffman was in her 20’s she developed alopecia after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. Over time, she recovered. 13 years later, her 4-year old daughter developed alopecia and lost all of her hair. Madonna said it was difficult to deal with her hair loss, but as a parent, watching her daughter’s loss was ten times harder. It was at this time that she took on Locks of Love as a full time volunteer with her daughter’s recovery as her inspiration.
For some time the contents of Mrs. Coffman’s garage contained bins of mail and hair donations. After securing donated office space from a local hospital and locating a manufacturer of the highest quality prosthetics, Locks of Love was off and running. Since it’s inception, LOL has received a great deal of support by both the media and our volunteers throughout the country. Locks of Love has been featured or mentioned on virtually every talk magazine or news show and in national and local publications across the country. This embrace from the media has helped us reach thousands of families.
Locks of Love has recipients in all 50 states and Canada and aspires to help every financially disadvantaged child suffering from long-term hair loss.