Rumor: Locks of Love missing millions worth of donations

Is the non-profit that inspires so many people to grow out and cut off their hair misusing its funds?

UNCONFIRMED: Report claims nonprofit charity “missing” $6 million

The not-for-profit organization, Locks of Love which according to its website provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who suffer from long-term medical hair loss, is under fire after reports based on alleged information from staffers claim that the charity has millions worth of donations that are unaccounted for.

In a recently released report, watchdog NonProfit Investor (NPI) says that all is not right with the charity. It has accused Locks of Love of mismanaging its funds—i.e. donated hair—to the tune of $6 million worth of unaccounted for product.

 

NPI says that Locks of Love receives roughly 104,000 donations every year. Of those, 80 percent or so are unusable, either because they're too short, gray, or bleached (Read donation requirements). The remaining 20 percent, however, according to NPI, should be enough to make more than 2,000 hairpieces per year. Yet as NPI reports, in 2011 Locks only made 317. Taking the difference between those two numbers and multiplying it by $3,750—the value of each piece—is what led NPI to declare that the nonprofit was “missing” $6 million.

The nonprofit has gotten a number of celebrities to donate in the past, including Katie Couric, Russel Crowe, and, most recently, snowboarder Shaun White.

Madonna Coffman, the president of Locks of Love, responded to a request for comment from MSN News in the following email statement:

"'Locks of Love' has for over 15 years and will continue to create the highest quality custom prosthesis for each applicant. This process cannot be initiated or carried out prior to the request and participation of the applicant who completes a mold process, chooses the density, color, length and style of their prosthesis. Our recipients include those with the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata, cancer survivors, burn and trauma victims and any other condition that may result in long term hair loss. To our knowledge we are the only organization that provides a vacuum fitted, custom prosthesis, as opposed to “wigs” that can be mass produced and inventoried until needed. 

Our commitment to provide a new prosthesis every 2 years until the age of 21 has given these children back the opportunity to do everything other kids do and not be ostracized or bullied again.  While we’ve reached this, our initial goal, we’ve made an additional promise to them to be the catalyst to finding a treatment and cure for alopecia areata by providing research funds to date of 2.2 million dollars. We greatly appreciate and applaud our supporters who have helped us make thousands of dreams come true.

False claims based on inaccuracies, fabrications or assumptions will not interfere with our commitment to these families."

 

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