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Oct 21 2013

Volunteering with Polished Girlz

Disclaimer: I am a Polished Girlz volunteer

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Yesterday I started a new journey in my life of nails!

I volunteered at my first event with Polished Girlz!

This summer, while covering Cosmoprof North America, I met Alanna Wall, the young founder of Polished Girlz. Alanna was just 10-years-old when she decided she wanted to visit hospitals and paint the nails of patients, and set up a polishing station at walks and events for special needs children; since then (back in 2011), she has polished thousands of children, grown her organization to more than 700 volunteers strong in the USA, Canada and Australia and even appeared as a guest on the TV show “Ellen”!

Here’s me and Alanna:

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What a bright, giving and beautiful young lady! And check out her Cosmoprof nails. LOVE:

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I’ll be honest; I hadn’t heard of the organization until I met Alanna and her mom, Valerie, this summer. But I immediately looked up the organization on my iPhone, spent some time on the computer reading through the website when I got home from the show, and I realized how very special it was that I got to meet her. In addition to helping special needs and sick kids get “polished,” and adding a little glitter to their lives (doesn’t glitter go a long way in cheering all of us up!?), the mission of Polished Girlz is to also teach hand hygiene, with proper hand washing techniques and hand sanitizer use during event polishing.

I hoped that someday I would be able to contribute to her cause.

I finally got my chance this weekend!

The Polished Girlz team had an Autism Speaks walk event in Cranford, NJ, and they needed volunteers. I immediately reached out to help. I got the lowdown on what I needed to do, and over the course of last week, I stopped here and there to get supplies to build an impromptu kit in order to serve as many kids (and moms, too!) who wanted their nails painted at the event. Here’s the polishes, toppers and some of the nail art I offered:

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I wasn’t alone! I painted nails with a couple of girls, Lana and Ashley (and Lana’s mom Lana and sister Gianna!), from NY! Here’s Lana and Ashley before things got really started, testing out a flower rhinestone nail on their fingers. These two missed their dance class to spend the morning volunteering:

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And here’s a bunch of photos from the day!

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Here’s my favorite mani, the last one I did, for a young girl who said the kids at school were going to think it was cool:

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Pretty cool Halloween mani, right?!

I had an absolute blast. The girls that I volunteered with were sweet and really enjoyed it. One of the moms came up to me, and after I told her about the organization, she walked away and I continued on painting her child’s nails. She came back over before they left and said she just really loved what we were doing. And that made me feel great. Alanna and Polished Girlz has filled a need that I didn’t even know existed; the need for polish and glitter and a little bit of pampering to brighten a child’s day. I love that the organization has so many child volunteers, too. Lots of girls like Lana and Ashley!

So I’ll leave you with one more picture – my own mani from the day! I did a fall-like random skittles:

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Here’s the breakdown:

  • Thumb and Pinky: Nicole by OPI Gumdrops in Cinna-man of My Dreams (two coats each nail)
  • Index: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstini in Seared Bronze (two coats) from the Catching Fire collection; also added a heart-shaped gold stud
  • Middle: OPI Incognito in Sausalito (two coats) with China Glaze Boo-Gie Down (two coats at base of nail)
  • Ring: OPI A-Piers to be Tan (two coats) and Orly Matte FX Green Flakie Top Coat (two coats)

My right hand got destroyed with the first mani I did – I had cotton ball stuck all at the tips of my nails from removing arts and crafts paint from kids’ hands, lol!

But I loved this mani! And doing random skittles like this is my nail art of choice, when I get the chance to do it!

I’m actually off today onto a three-day business trip adventure! Florida, DC, back home again. I didn’t have time this weekend to prep many posts, unfortunately – but I DID get the seating arrangements done for my wedding, we went over to, and made our donation to, the Animal Orphanage of Voorhees, NJ, in lieu of wedding favors, and got some other errands done! Mike and I are putting a picture of Timmy next to a note from Timmy, next to the wedding card carrier (which will be a temporary cat carrier!) that will explain our donation in lieu of favors, and that we donated to the shelter that Timmy came from <3. I can’t believe that everything is coming together and we will be married in 19 days!!

So, have you ever heard of Polished Girlz? Have you volunteered or have a child/know a child who volunteers? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the organization and its mission in the comments below!