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The Turban Project offers free head coverings for patients

| December 29, 2022

The Turban Project supplies free blessed head ware to men, women, and children who experience hair loss due to a medical issue. (Submitted)

“It was a God moment.” That’s how The Turban Project describes the beginning of the non-profit.

Kathy Braidich said in 2012, she had a co-worker who was going through chemo and still working so she could save her sick leave for her surgery. “She lost her hair and was wearing a wig. I made a comment about how cute the wig was and asked if she liked it. She said she did, but that it was itchy and not comfortable. I told her she needed a turban and she said she bought one for $25 but she didn’t like it.”

“The words ‘I’ll make you one’ came out of my mouth.”

“But – I didn’t sew. I had no idea what I was doing. So, I told her she would be my guinea pig and I made her several and she loved them.” The Turban Project was started.

Braidich said she started locally at Licking Memorial Hospital. She supplied the hospital with several turbans and patients could choose which ones they wanted.  “We had maybe 10 volunteers. During the pandemic, we grew 750%. We were on MSNBC and The View because we had already been making face masks for cancer patients. We had no idea we were on the shows until the calls and messages started pouring in.”

She said they started shipping starter kits all over the country during COVID.  Each kit contains a completed sample of each item they make – a turban, courage cap, beanie and face mask. It also includes five pre-cuts of each item and all of the supplies (except thread) that is needed to complete each item. There are how-to videos on the website. “Everything is donated to us. Even the videos.”

“There is zero pressure for our volunteers. They can sew at home or come to one of our work days. Once we send the kit, it’s on God’s hands and we know that. I want each volunteer to sew when they are at peace. These items are going to people who need all the prayers and peace we can send them.” Every item is prayed over before it is shipped.

“I’ve had calls from patients that brought tears to my eyes. They told me that when they put the head piece on, a total peace come over them that they can’t describe in words. That’s God’s hands.”

Braidich said The Turban Project has satellites in every state and 14 countries.  “We send a starter kit and are always here if they have issues or questions. We only have three rules. To only work when they are feeling at peace. The work area must be clean. And every item must be blessed before it is donated.”

She said she has had messages from doctors and caregivers about the change in patients when they get to pick out new head gear. “I’ve been told they come in depressed and down and are so happy and excited when they get to pick out what they like.”

People who contact The Turban Project through the website are asked about their likes and their hobbies. Volunteers try to send them at least one thing that matches their likes, such as a favorite sports team. “Or people can buy their own fabric and bring it to us, and we’ll sew the head pieces for them.”

“Volunteers have thanked me for bringing joy back into their lives. For renewing their prayer life. And for giving them a reason to live. We have so many elderly volunteers who say this brings them joy and gives them purpose in their life.”

“We have volunteers that are school children clear up to 100 years old. Even if you can’t sew, there are so many other things that need done to help. Any help we get is so appreciated.”

Donations of fabric and costume jewelry are always needed. Every turban has bling on it. “Any jewelry we get that we can’t use is donated to another non-profit.  And we know that each piece was important to the person and we want the people who bring us the jewelry to know that their donation will bring so much joy to another person.”

They need flannel, fleece, t-shirt type material and knit. The Turban Project is a 501 non-profit, so all donations are tax deductible. Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart and Joann Fabric gift cards are always needed, as is cash for shipping and other supplies. If you use Kroger rewards or shop on Amazon Smiles, you can choose to have a percentage of your purchase donated to The Turban Project. Braidich said they receive a check every quarter from Amazon.

They pay shipping to anyone who needs the head coverings. While most of the people who order have lost their hair due to cancer, any person who has hair loss for any medical reason is welcome to contact The Turban Project to request head gear. Everything they do is at no cost to the patient or the volunteer.

The work area is located at 195 Union Street in Newark. It is open Monday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations of supplies can be dropped off during those hours. Cash or gift cards can be sent to 7871 Ridge Road, Frazeysburg, OH 43822. Visit The Turban Project’s website to order head gear or learn more about volunteering or the supplies they need at https://turbanproject.com.

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