HCN News & Notes

Springfield College Student Donates Wigs to Cancer House of Hope

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College health care management major Charlene Adutwum is living the college’s Humanics philosophy by helping make wigs for women of color that will be donated to the Cancer House of Hope in West Springfield. Adutwum received funding for the project through a Humanics in Action mini-grant she was awarded through the Springfield College Center for Service and Leadership.

“The idea for the project started when I was getting a tour of the Cancer House of Hope, where I am doing an internship,” said Adutwum, who just finished her last semester at Springfield College. “As I was walking through the house, they showed me the wig boutique, and although they had wigs for people of color, they didn’t have many. There also weren’t many style options that represent people of color, so that got me thinking that this project would be worth exploring.”

Through the Springfield College Office of Multicultural Affairs staff, Adutwum learned about the mini-grants available on the campus, and in talking with Charlene Elvers, director of the Springfield College Center for Service and Leadership, she was able to submit a proposal describing the goals of her project. The Humanics philosophy calls for the education of the whole person — in spirit, mind, and body — for leadership in service to others.

“As part of the proposal, I had to do some research and plan out a budget and process for making the wigs, and once it was approved, we started making the wigs,” Adutwum said.

With her passion and skill for braiding hair, she assisted in the production of the wigs. Her overall goal was to make at least four wigs that she could donate to the Cancer House of Hope. 

“At the start, it was taking me a long time to make the wigs just because I was learning how to make them as I was working on them,” she said. “I was used to braiding hair on family and friends, but to try and do that with a wig was a little different, so it was taking some time to finish the wigs. I was also balancing schoolwork as well, so it was a busy semester for sure, but we achieved the goal of creating four wigs.”

Through the emotional support of friends and family, Adutwum continued to work around her busy schedule to make sure production of the wigs continued during the semester.

“It felt so good knowing that I didn’t give up and I was able to achieve the goal of making the wigs,” she said. “During the Thanksgiving break, I was able to bring some of the wigs home and show my mother, and she told me that I did a good job, so that was very special.”

Moving forward following this project, Adutwum would like to continue to make and donate at least one wig per year to a cancer patient center.

“This has been a very rewarding experience, and I really do appreciate the support I received from so many people,” she said. “It’s always a great experience to try and help others.”