GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A monetary donation is being made to an organization that makes wigs for children after social media outrage sparked when a box of hair donations was seen tossed in the dumpster behind a local hair salon.
The photo showed locks of hair in plastic bags with donation forms attached thrown in a dumpster behind the Great Clips on Franklin Boulevard, in Gastonia. The hair was supposed to be donated to "Wigs for Kids," an organization based out of Ohio.
The photos were posted online Tuesday afternoon and sparked immediate outrage. Several people contacted WBTV and Great Clips, demanding answers.
Great Clips replied to people, who posted the photo on their page, saying they were "appalled" and "upset," as well.
"Between our partnership with Wigs for Kids and our Clips of Kindness program, supporting those going through hair loss is near and dear to our hearts," the organization wrote on one post. "These programs were inspired by much-loved people in the Great Clips community who suffered through hair loss personally, so this is very important to us."
"Every hair donation should be cherished and treated with respect," they continued.
On its Facebook page, Great Clips told people they were addressing the incident directly.
Nanette McDaniel was one of the donors who thought her long locks were going to a good cause.
"Why would they just throw it in the dumpster? Because I donated it out of the kindness of my heart," McDaniel said.
McDaniel didn't even know her donation ended up in the trash until WBTV knocked on her door.
"I personally know people with cancer and I know people who have battled and lost with cancer," McDaniel said.
WBTV spoke with the store's manager Tuesday afternoon. The manager says an employee made a mistake and has been reprimanded.
"I would hope that it would be an accident, but the fact that they do wrap them up they do try to keep them separate. I makes me sad," McDaniel said.
The manager said 100 hair donations were in the box that was tossed in the dumpster. She says they were able to save all but five of the donations.
"That's five people that won't be able to have wigs now," McDaniel said.
WBTV reached out to Great Clips corporate management and "Wigs of Kids" officials Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday morning, Jeffrey Paul, founder and executive director of Wigs for Kids, said he'd just gotten off the phone with management from Great Clips corporate.
Officials were headed into an emergency meeting about the incident in Gaston County.
Paul says Great Clips plans to donate $1,000 to Wigs for Kids in the names of each of the people whose donations were lost.
Paul says Great Clips feels "embarrassed" about the incident and he was pleased to see an organization take assertive action to correct a problem.