Reniece Tatum

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I started Dream A Wig while I was working full-time as a porter at Akron Children?s Hospital. I was also a part-time cosmetologist working in our family?s hair salon. As a Porter, I had the opportunity to briefly encounter children at the hospital who were recovering from chemotherapy treatments and other illnesses. Seeing them lose their hair touched me in a very special way.

One thing I?ve always loved doing after becoming a licensed cosmetologist was making wigs. One day, while making myself a wig to wear, the thought came to me, ?Why not create wigs for children who are losing their hair?? Because I wanted to help these children feel beautiful, I believed making wigs for them would help empower them and rebuild their confidence while battling their illnesses.

Within a few months, I resigned from my position at Children?s Hospital and instead, became a volunteer. ??My job as a volunteer was to do mini makeovers for the young patients recovering at the hospital. I helped them choose nail polish, style their hair, apply tatoos and do other esteem-building activities. This allowed me the opportunity to get to know the patients better and help them navigate their emotions when they were feeling defeated.

I graduated from Stark State College with an Associate?s degree in Business Management and received my Instructor?s license shortly thereafter. I established Dream A Wig (DAW) as a Foundation after I obtained its 501c3 later that same year. I will be returning to the classroom soon to finish my Bachelor?s degree.

DAW offers children the opportunity to help design head coverings and wigs, free of charge, that will help build their confidence and enhance their self-esteem; as well as help them feel empowered, special and less defeated by their illnesses. One of DAW?s long-term goals is to become global. We would like to design and personalize wigs and head coverings for children all over the world who may be battling hair loss. As the organization grows, we would also like to make wigs, free of charge, for adults living with illnesses that cause hair loss.

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