A gift of any size can make a difference.

Sheryl Kurland, a domestic violence activist, had been speaking to young women at colleges, including St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia, for years about healthy and unhealthy relationships.

But in the summer of 2015, while on hiatus, she enrolled in a civilian course hosted by her local sheriff’s department in Florida. During class one evening, the topic was “domestic violence and dating violence.”

According to Kurland, that night changed her life.

“I had, perhaps, the biggest aha moment of my life,” she says. “I thought, ‘I wonder if I could take the on-campus programs I did for college-age women and change it to relate to women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.’”

She did. She earned a certification through the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and began hosting workshops for victims at secluded, confidential locations where women would feel safe.

And now, six years later, she has donated more than 70,000 lipsticks to women living in 200 battered women’s shelters across all 50 states, through her non-profit, Find Your Fabulosity. At an average of $15-$20 per lipstick, that is a total of more than $1 million.

Kurland explains, “Growing up, my mother always said, ‘Sheryl, if you want to feel better, just put on a little lipstick.’ I went to the local pharmacy and picked up a pile of lipsticks in different colors, and started giving them out at my workshops.”

She realized these lipsticks changed the energy in the room. She couldn’t believe how much of a transformation occurred from something so simple.

“I witnessed their pain momentarily dissolve as they helped each other pick out the right color, chit-chatted and bonded over the application of the lipsticks, and became women again.”

Since the 2016 inception of FYF, lipstick donations have also poured in by the box loads from women’s groups, individuals, various corporate donations, and cosmetic companies. 

Her next goal? Crossing the 100,000 lipstick donations threshold.

“Lipstick means so much to the average woman,” says Kurland, “You can only imagine how much it means to women who have been victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. It means the world to them, and you can see the spark re-enter their eyes.”

If you would like to donate lipstick to Find Your Fabulosity to support National Lipstick Day on Thursday, click HERE.

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