The SPF Project at i {heart} skin

Happy JUNE! It's practically summer and I couldn't be more excited about that. There are lots of fun things in store this month at i {heart} skin, and I'm kicking off the month by telling you about the one I'm most excited about. The SPF Project! Let me tell you all about it!

The short version of the story is that I'll be hosting a donation drive this month. I'm thrilled to be doing this, because as a business owner, it has always been my goal to be a business that gives back.

What I'm even more excited about is the opportunity to give back to an organization that is dear to my own heart. I'll talk more about that in a minute. This is a project I had been thinking on for sometime and I was recently inspired to finally go for it.

The SPF Project stands for Sunscreen Paid Forward. Through the month of June, I am hosting a drive to collect SPF products - sunscreen and SPF chapstick - which will then be donated to an organization called Urban Peak. Urban Peak of Denver serves youth ages 15-24 who are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

From the Urban Peak Website:

"Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Our goal is to help these youth overcome real life challenges and become self-sufficient adults.

We do this by providing five essential services at little or no cost to the youth (youth in housing do pay a minimal rent each month): An overnight shelter, A daytime Drop-In Center, Street Outreach, Education & Employment programming and Supportive housing.

Our goal is to meet youth where they are and to provide them with the assistance and support they need to become self-sufficient or obtain the necessary services they need to exit a life on the streets. Urban Peak’s programs and services are founded on the principles of trauma-informed care and positive youth development and assist youth in reaching their potential and living a successful life off of the streets.”

I first became aware of Urban Peak several years ago, when I became a volunteer there. I was considering going to grad school to pursue a master's degree in education and I wanted more experience working with youth. At first I served breakfast a couple days a month in the drop-in center. Later I tutored students studying to take the GED.

Before signing up to volunteer, youth homelessness was something I didn't know very much about. What I learned volunteering at Urban Peak was eye-opening, heartbreaking and also incredibly inspiring. I continued to volunteer there once a week for two years. Even after I had abandoned my plan to go to grad school, and up until I decided to go to skin care school instead. My experiences at Urban Peak made a lasting impression on me and I am excited to partner with them once more.

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend who told me that they had always just assumed that kids who are homeless choose to be homeless. That shocked me a little, but then I wondered how many other people are misinformed. What I have observed is that homeless youth typically only "choose" homelessness as alternative to something worse at home. Many of these young people are fleeing tough or unsafe circumstances - abuse, addicts in the home, not being accepted by their family for various reasons. Organizations like Urban Peak help them navigate a path to a better situation. And the kids themselves go to some amazing lengths to do the same.

Among the many unique challenges they are faced with, homeless youth are often struggling to meet even basic needs. Via the Urban Peak website, you can find a list of items that the organization is in need of that often includes basic toiletries. Among the items that always stands out to me? Sunscreen. Long before I was an esthetician, I was a sunscreen freak. So the first time I saw this on the list, I immediately ran to Target and bought them out of travel size sunscreens to donate.

Now that I'm a skin care professional, I understand even more that sunscreen is not a luxury cosmetic. It is basic protection from sunburn and skin cancer, and every person - especially those who are experiencing homelessness and frequent exposure to the elements - needs this protection.

So with that in mind, here are the particulars of this month's drive!

For the month of June, the goal is simply to collect as much SPF as possible for Urban Peak, in the form of sunscreen and SPF lip balm, which will then be donated at the end of the month. I am reaching out to my clients and social media followers for donations and will personally match any donations made in June.

I’m even getting a little help from some of the skin care companies that I work with, in the form of donated sample sizes. Every little bit helps! In fact, small travel or sample sizes are preferred since they are portable and therefore the most likely to go to good use.

How to Contribute:

*Bring in your own donation (Must be unopened. Travel sizes are preferred.)

*Purchase any full-size sunscreen for yourself at i {heart} skin and a travel size will automatically be donated in conjunction

*Purchase any full-size sunscreen or SPF Lip Balm at i {heart} skin and donate it

*Donate $2 (or any $2 increment) which = one travel size donation

*Spread the word! Share my social media posts and newsletter with your own friends and followers. The more the merrier!

The June donation drive will end June 30th, but I will be keeping you posted all month on social media with updates on the tally and the final donation! Thank you in advance for all of your support. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish with The SPF Project this month!

<3 Jenny

About the blog:

This is a blog about everyday skin health. As an esthetician I strive to provide comprehensive skin care advice and knowledge to anyone who wants to know more.

Read on and please don't hesitate to reach out! I love educating people about their skin and am always happy to respond to questions.

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