Friday, April 18, 2014

Makeup For A 2nd Chance, my mission to pay it forward

Hi Guys! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

I have talked about the non-profit I am starting in a few places online here and there. Mostly I have mentioned it in comments or in private messages. So this is the announcement, let’s call it the official announcement.

Makeup for a 2nd Chance is a non-profit organization for the purpose of helping women who have been incarcerated for a length of time not less than 1 year. 

I have been very blessed and it has been on my heart to start giving back to those less fortunate than I have been. When I came home from a combined 2 years that I was incarcerated between 2 states (I talked about this in my “About Me” post and if you know me personally you know about my struggles with drug addiction) I decided not to be ashamed and to talk openly about my past, that it might help someone either affected directly or indirectly by addiction. Talking about my past is not enough, I want especially to help the women who are going through what I have been through or worse. This is something that God has really put on my heart and it’s time to start doing something about it.

Halfway houses and programs that help people who are being released from prison or jail are primarily for men. I’m not sure if it’s because women usually have children to consider, I’m really just not sure why this is. There are a lot of groups that come in and teach classes and give information to inmates about how to fill out applications, how to answer questions in an interview and how to deal with the background checks and how much to tell a potential employer. The program I went through (RSAT, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment, Georgia’s answer to drug court) actually included a 14 week technical college course in which I received a certificate and college credits for completing the course. During these classes you learn Microsoft Office Suite and how to create a resume, you are also given information related to how to get clothes and other resources that may be able to help you while trying to get back on your feet. I believe there was one that would help you get a car if you lived in the area that it was located in. The one thing I do not recall seeing is a place that would help you in completing the look for a job interview or professional appointment, this is a women’s hair and makeup. Gray or any color roots grown out to your ears is just not a polished look, neither is a business suite without a little mascara and lipstick, it just makes you look put together, and the outfit is complete. Not only will this give a professional look it will do wonders for a women’s confidence in herself.

During incarceration, especially in a county jail, you really get very little sunlight and your skin reacts to this environment in a really bad way. I had a lot of hyperpigmentation around my mouth and nose. Things happen to your skin that you just don’t understand. There isn’t any access to any kind of special cleansers, toners or moisturizers, even if you could buy them from the commissary. During the times when I was outside, this is called rec time, I would take my shoes and socks off and rub the heels of my feet back and forth on the concrete pad that rec was held on just to get rid of dry skin and callouses. The food is horrible, you can hang up fresh fruits and vegetables, starch and carbs are the main course even in the food you can buy in the commissary. Ramen noodles, chips, candy bars and cool aid. So to sum it up, you come out 50 pounds overweight, with pale, acne prone skin and really rough feet, but you are there to pay a debt to society, you don’t deserved to look good, right?

I’m not going to get into the debate over inmate rights or what should happen to people who break the law. I know one thing, these women deserve a 2nd chance, especially if they are willing to work for it. Most of the female population are drug addicted girlfriends and wives whose biggest downfall is that they love their man. Once they have some clean time behind them they start to realize they love their kids more and they start to regret what they have done and what they have put their children and families though. Drugs and men together or separate can have a powerful hold on a women, especially a women with low self-esteem. That’s why we have to start lifting these women up and building a foundation that they can stand upon and say “I matter!”

In a perfect world I would like to give every women a bag of beauty needs but I think what it will come down to is recommendations. I have stayed in contact with a group of ladies from a local church that work closely with female inmates in both Hamilton County in Tennessee and Catoosa County in Georgia. They fought to get permission from the Catoosa county sheriff’s office when I was transferred to Georgia so that they could minister to the women there. It was a wonderful thing they did and it was desperately needed in the facility in Catoosa County. I would like to use groups like this to get recommendations from for women they feel will benefit from this type of gift. So upon being chosen ideally we would like to hold a class once a month and bring all of the women together for a day of beauty. I would like to have a couple of cosmetologists who would donate their time to give haircuts, color and style for the ladies. I would then like to have a brief class about makeup and skin care. Then we would gift these ladies with a beauty bag which would contain makeup that would work for any skin tone and color. Next I would like to have a range of foundation, concealers and skin care products that would need to be matched for each person and have someone who could help the ladies choose the proper colors and formula for each of their skin types. The gift would also include hair needs like shampoo and conditioner, styling products and maybe hairdryers and flat irons if they need them to keep up the style of their hair, as well as hygiene items for bathing and other female needs.

This is something that I believe could change a person’s life. Just to find out that someone cares and that they matter can have lasting effects both spiritually and emotionally. The ladies group that prayed for me, wrote to me and even fought to get into the facility in Georgia so they could minister to all of the ones incarcerated there, it meant so much to me. When I got out they didn’t disappear and I continue to be in contact with them 

If you have comments or would like to help I would love to hear from you. You can reach me through my blog site or my Gmail address. I hope to have a separate page posted to my blog dedicated to the project within a few days. Thank you for reading this, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to the women that we will help one day very soon.

Much Love and God Bless,


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