BELLPORT, N.Y. (PIX11) — Students at Eastern Suffolk BOCES‘ art and design class are bringing spark to the lives of cancer patients.

“As patients take off their wigs at the end of the day, they are going to be looking at something cheerful,” said Talia Mochi-Cliffe.

With every color, stroke and pattern, the carefully designed stands are tailor-made to uplift in more ways than one. In addition to helping patients, the wig stands reduce ecological impacts. They’re made with Styrofoam, which is a major environmental problem. It’s non-biodegradable. According to Green Dining Alliance, Styrofoam fills up 30% of landfill space globally. By repurposing the wig heads, students are also preventing them from ending up in a landfill. 

The school has teamed up with Stony Brook University Hospital to serve those who are undergoing cancer treatment. It’s a 15-year tradition that’s back up and running after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. It’s a partnership that started after Mochi-Cliffe’s father passed away of cancer. 

“We had a connection there and people that came for the outreach program, their support groups, they were given these wig stands. And we get asked every year, ‘Are you doing the wig stands again?'” said Mochi-Cliffe.   

It begins with a sketch brought to life using acrylic paint and a personal touch. Each carefully crafted wig head provides a foundation for a new crown, serving as a symbol of restored hope during difficult times.