In just over a week I’ll be attending the 26th annual Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and I was very pleased to see that Caroline MacGillivray, Founder and President of Beauty Night was on the list of this year’s distinguished nominees for Community Building.
This past January I interviewed Caroline about her work with Beauty Night and she described how the program got started. “My best friend from theatre school wrote a script and asked me to play a young suburban girlâ€™s transition to a DTES survival sex worker dealing with addiction. I volunteered at a shelter for research. One night I did one of the ladies hair, makeup and nails because I wanted to see her eyes light up the way little kids do when they see Santa. They did and I started wondering if this could be done for other women.”
Beauty Night now runs out of Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto offering events and services for women multiple times a month that include dance, yoga, makeovers, journal sessions and movie nights. Caroline noted, “One third of our clients are seniors, one third is survival sex workers, and the last third is mothers and youth. Many of our clients deal with issues such as poverty, homelessness, addiction, mental ill health, illness – HIV, Hep C. Most of our clients have deal with violence against women.” Beauty Night’s impact is immeasurable when it comes to the health, self-esteem, pride, happiness and well-being of these women. If you’d like to lend a hand you can donate online and they are always in need of beauty products, as well as fitness and writing supplies, and volunteers. You can read the Beauty Night blog or follow Caroline on Twitter for updates.
You can read through all the nominees for the 2009 Women of Distinction Awards on the YWCA’s website which also include fellow blogger, Glenda Watson Hyatt.