I'm something of a tweeter, @Llara_has_2_Ls if you're interested, and through #BeautyBloggers, I came across an organisation called Give and Make up. They collect unwanted new and nearly new cosmetics and toiletries for women living in Women's Aid and Refuge accommodation. The women (and potentially their children) have all experienced some form of domestic violence and many will have fled home with nothing. Give and Make up help by providing essential daily basics (shower gel, sanitary products, deodorant), as well as little luxuries.
Now, I'm conscious that I want to extol the virtues of Give and Make up without coming off patronising, so here's my thinking. Domestic violence is horrific. No-one should ever have to live with it. And leaving your home with nothing may be the least of your worries. But, I figure, anything that helps, even a little, once you have made the brave decision to go, has to be a good thing. And while toiletries and whatnot might not seem like a big deal, it might be that a women receives basic items that one takes for granted as everyday staples. Or maybe that someone gets some dead nice make up when they haven't considered treating themselves in a long time. And I reckon that's a good thing.
The reason I've got as far as posting about Give and Make up is that, having read about them, I decided to give them a shout: like many chicks, I have a load of gift sets knocking about that I haven't opened, as well as ill advised eye shadow purchases (ace stuff that just doesn't suit me), free lipsticks etc. But, while I was waiting for them to reply to me, it occurred to me that I probably knew plenty other people in the same situation. Turns out I did and, in a nutshell, it grew arms and legs and this is around a third of what I ended up collecting!
Look at all the make up! (There was around twice this when it was all together)
Body lotion and, more importantly, shower gel: a daily staple.
I ended up with nearly 850 items, plus a bag of toilet bags and a huge bag of miniatures. I'm dead pleased to say that I'll be collecting again in the New Year as lots of people mentioned ending up with unwanted gifts post Xmas. Plus, there's no time like new year for a clear out! Give and Make up have collection points/drop offs all over the country so, if you do get any bath sets or make up over Christmas that you just don't fancy, you've picked up extra 3 for 2s or you're just dead generous and decide to pick up some extra items while you're out, give them a shout! You could really help.