Hair loss can be a sad, debilitating side effect of some health conditions. No one knows that better than Mara Caldwell, founder of the Harmony of Hope Foundation, Inc. (HoHF), as she’s suffered from Alopecia Totalis and its side effect of complete hair loss for the past 20 years.
But instead of being overcome with sadness and debilitation, she felt empowered to show others – especially young girls – how to look and feel beautiful, regardless of their health conditions or side effects. In 2014, Caldwell launched HoHF, which is a nonprofit organization that supports children suffering from conditions resulting in hair loss.
“What makes this foundation so remarkable is that everyone on the board has experienced and gone through cancer or Alopecia,” Caldwell explains. “Each board member can personally account for the vulnerability that each child is going through regarding the significance of his/her hair loss. Not every board member of every nonprofit has the ability to directly relate to the cause that they’re fighting for.” HoHF has quickly grown since inception. In fact, just last year, HoHF successfully assisted with the donation of three wig kits to three children in need. “This year, our goal is to help 10 children,” Caldwell says.
To help meet and exceed this goal, HoHF is hosting a Children’s Expo at the Duke Energy Center on June 27. With the donation of a hat, scarf or turban, event admission is free, and each family attending will receive a free swag bag and water bottle. Activities include cornhole, Pantene Beautiful Lengths Ponytail Drive, haircut giveaways, face painting, Jamberry Nail applications, balloon animals, and football toss. Plus, the event will feature numerous vendors for kids and adults, ranging from health and wellness to beauty and fashion industries.
And while the event will be fun for the whole family, Caldwell says it’ll also serve a greater purpose. “Our guests will be contributing by helping another child find their ‘U’ in Beauty,” she explains.
For the future, Caldwell plans to expand and open another HoHF branch in Chicago. “I hope to one day reach a global outreach,” she says. “We’ve helped a child in the Philippines already!” In addition, Caldwell plans to strengthen its partnership with Amazon Smile, which is a service through Amazon that donates 0.5% of eligible Amazon purchases toward the charity of your choice.