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Makeup gives women at Boise shelter confidence to move forward

CBS 2 Photo

When most people think of donating to a women's shelter they think of things like food or clothes, but there's one often understated gift that can make just as big of an impact — cosmetics.

Boise's City Light Home for Women and Children is both an emergency overnight shelter for homeless women and a long-term recovery center for women struggling with addiction or leaving a domestic abuse situation.

"Being in my addiction I started to lose a lot of who I was," said Mindy Childers, a guest at City Light. "I started to lose my career, my mothering abilities... even family relationships. I was losing all of that because of my drinking."

Mindy Childers said her alcoholism was in control for eight years. But, that all changed five months ago when she set aside her life as a cosmetologist and sought recovery at City Light.

"I came here so I could put [it] back together," said Mindy. "Rebuild what I am trying to have in life."

Now sober, Mindy said there are parts of who she is that she's almost rediscovering.

"Beauty is, you know, almost our identity. So, when we have that put together we feel complete," Mindy said while touching up her makeup using products donated to the shelter.

City Light Home is run completely by donations — from necessities to things lesser thought of like makeup.

Cosmetics, like perfume or lip gloss, can help the women at the shelter get back on their feet and back in control.

"If you come in and you just have the clothes on your back, maybe you're escaping from a domestic violence situation, then come on in," said Briana LeClaire, Director of Women's and Children's Ministries for Boise Rescue Mission. "We'll hook you up."

From job interviews to rebuilding self-confidence — donations of cosmetics can have a huge impact.

"Something like this is so small but so significant to us," said Mindy. "For us to see, 'wow, people really do care that we succeed and we also look good and feel good about what we're doing and trying to strive for in life."

It truly is the small things that help women, like Mindy, to make up for a sometimes ugly past and to create a beautiful future.

All cosmetics donations must be new and unopened — even free samples are greatly appreciated!

Donations can be dropped of at City Light Home at 1404 W. Jefferson St. in Boise seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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