As a makeup artist, the best part of my job is providing the means and materials for women to feel good about themselves, to brighten their spirits and to greet each day on a positive note. But my work led me to understand that there are many among us whose circumstances do not support feelings of self-esteem, nor the abilities to interact successfully with the world outside their doors. The idea for Project Beauty Share started as a conversation with one of my clients during a makeup lesson.
Many people don’t realize it, but most hygiene products, shampoos, soap and toothbrushes cannot be purchased with food stamps or EBT cards. In addition, budgets at most women’s shelters and other charitable organizations are so tight these days that they must ration these simple necessities of life — even items like toilet paper.
Project Beauty Share helps fill that gap. We rely on the Spokane community for donations of cosmetics, hygiene and toiletry items, in new or slightly used condition. That’s right. If the new lipstick you bought turns out not to look great on you, or your foundation is the wrong color, I encourage you to donate those items to Project Beauty Share. Each week our volunteers gather to sort, sanitize and organize the donated items for distribution to shelters and organizations that provide services for homeless and low-income women. Since 2009, Project Beauty Share has collected and distributed more than 2,500 boxes of products — that’s almost 50,000 pounds of donations.
Right now we are gathering donations for the Holiday Gift Giving program. Our goal is to deliver a festive bag of special items to each of the residents of Spokane women’s shelters in late December. Particularly needed are new and barely used makeup, body lotion and sunscreen, bar soap and shower gel, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.
There are other events with special themes or a focus on specific items throughout the year:
“For The Girls” is a month-long feminine hygiene drive held in May.
“Profile Picture Night” is an early-summer event combining a product collection drive with a gift for our donors — a professionally updated Facebook photo with the assistance of top-line photographers and styling personnel.
“Beauty Bash” is Project Beauty Share’s primary fundraising drive each fall.
And the “Can You Spare a Square?” toilet paper drive also happens each fall. This year we expanded, and with the addition of partners KXLY, Albertson’s and Northwest Harvest, we were able to collect more than 20,000 rolls of toilet paper in two days that were distributed to area shelters.
Thanks to the Spokane community for allowing Project Beauty Share to help those among us who are less fortunate.
You Can Help
Items can be easily donated to Project Beauty Share by going to any of the collection sites around the area, including the Make-Up Studio, Salon Nouveau, Diva’s, Jewelry Design Center, Finders Keepers, Simply Northwest, InStyle Salon, Tracy Jeweler’s, 14th & Grand Salon, Creations Salon, Chee Chee’s, Angelina Salon and Essence Salon. Volunteers to assist in organizing, sorting and sanitizing donated products are always needed. It’s easy to volunteer or donate: visit projectbeautyshare.org.