Home Jersey City The Mo’Hair Foundation: About This Jersey City Organization + its Owner

The Mo’Hair Foundation: About This Jersey City Organization + its Owner

by Danielle Lynch
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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect season to give back,  serve the community, and make people happy. That is exactly what Monique Smith-Andrews, a Bayonne resident and Jersey City business owner, does each day. She is the owner of Monique’s Techniques {124 Storms Avenue, Jersey City}, a full-service salon that has been serving Jersey City since 1988, as well as the founder of The Mo’Hair Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free hair replacement services for those who have lost theirs due to illness. Her beautiful soul and passion for giving back are deeply rooted in family and love and we are so excited to share her story with the community. Read on to learn all about Monique, The Mo’Hair Foundation, and how she has turned heartache into something beautiful.

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{Photo credit: @mohairfoundation}

About Monique

Monique’s passion for serving her community and giving back has always been in her heart but it came to surface when her mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma. “She lost her hair and it bothered me that it was bothering her,” Monique explained. Monique was so upset for her mom and felt like she couldn’t help her. She would always say to herself, “One day, I just want to be able to bless people who can’t afford to bring back their hair.” She knew how expensive hair replacement was for cancer patients and quickly discovered that a lot of insurance companies do not cover the cost of a wig. Those who needed it most would have to shell out hundreds and thousands of dollars just to feel like themselves again but Monique later realized that there was something she could do to help.  

About the Mo’Hair Foundation

“What we do is give free wigs to men, women, and children, who have lost their hair due to illness,” Monique explained. Monique started the Mo’Hair Foundation in honor of her mother and all of those who have lost their hair in some way or another. The foundation not only provides wigs for cancer patients but also for those with alopecia, lupus, and other illnesses that cause hair loss. This 501(c)(3) organization works with individuals, businesses, and corporations to help cover the cost of wigs for anyone in need.

Her services became well-known within the local community and soon, CarePoint Health — Christ Hospital {176 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City} gave her a salon within the hospital that she works out of to provide wigs to those who need them. “People didn’t want to come into the Jersey City salon while other clients were there. They were bashful,” Monique told us. As time went on, her foundation grew and grew. She now sees clients from all over the country. She recently began videotaping people’s reactions after they try on their new wig. “I get it now. Twelve years later and I finally understand the magnitude of what I am doing,” Monique said. Monique’s clients are so grateful for her and the happiness she has helped to restore within them. “It’s very rewarding and gives me so much joy every day. I thank God that I am able to do this and help change people’s lives.”

See More:  A List of Hoboken + Jersey City Charities to Donate to Year-Round 

It’s not surprising to know that Monique has been featured in numerous publications. Recently she appeared in the October issue of Oprah’s O Magazine. The publication chose one of Monique’s clients and featured her story about their journey with metastatic breast cancer and told O Magazine, “Losing my hair again on top of dealing with a serious diagnosis was practically unbearable. My doctor told me about the Mo’Hair Foundation, a nonprofit that offers free wigs to help people who have lost their hair due to illness. They gave me a blonde wig that was cut and styled like my old hair. As soon as I started wearing it in public, I felt like myself again — friends told me I looked like I had my confidence back. ”

How the Mo’Hair Foundation Works

Monique is proud to serve all who contact her. After filling out an inquiry on her website, clients will be contacted and scheduled for an appointment. Monique works with each client personally and carefully to ensure that she provides the highest-quality service to each individual. “Clients would come in and show me a photo of what they want. I even have some samples in the salon.” 

Once that is decided on, the production of the wigs take anywhere from one to two months — one month for stock wigs and two for custom. When the wig arrives at the salon, the client is scheduled another appointment for styling the wig to their liking.

Mo’Hair, as mentioned before, provides these services thanks to generous donations that cover the cost of the hair replacement from individuals, businesses, and corporations. Monique also holds her own fundraisers to raise money, too. 

“We do anything from tea parties, afternoon brunches, you name it, we do it.” She even organizes different events like the annual Men of Distinction Gala, which highlights and honors men in the community that have made an impact as well as throwing a Thanksgiving Dinner on the block of the salon for the community to enjoy. Monique is giving back much more than hair. 

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How to Get Involved

There are so many ways to become part of The Mo’Hair Foundation. Fundraising is always a great place to start. Monique also encourages others to put the word out there that free services like this are available. Another way to get involved is to make donations to the foundation and supporting her fundraisers. Be on the lookout for new events happening this fall and winter. “This year, we will be holding our 23rd annual Thanksgiving Dinner to feed the community,” Monique said. The salon sets up a Thanksgiving dinner for all to enjoy. In recent years, the city has even helped her shut down the block, set up tents, provide indoor dining, live entertainment, and even deliver meals to senior citizens and others who can’t make it out. Monique is giving back to the community in such unique and beautiful ways.

“My mom always gave to everyone and now I understand it,” Monique shared. “It’s so important to do what you can — even little things. We can help mankind. We are only here for a short time and we have to make a difference while we are here.” Well, Monique is doing that and so much more. She treats everyone with the love, compassion, and kindness that everyone so rightfully deserves. 

Do you know someone who could benefit from the Mo’Hair Foundation or someone who would be interested in donating to this wonderful organization? Let us know in the comments below! 

Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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