After years of delivering leftover food from weddings among the homeless in Pittsburgh, Sandra Villarroel, wedding photographer and owner of Sandrachile, decided she wanted to offer an additional type of help exclusively to marginalized women. This month she launched Worth Manifesto right here in Pittsburgh, The Motherhood’s hometown, and we couldn’t be more excited about supporting it!
Sandra, often known as Sandra Chile, is originally from Chile and formerly homeless. When she first became a wedding photographer five years ago, the opulence, and more specifically, the waste of food, from weddings conflicted with what she had experienced in her past. So she found a way to bridge the gap between the two worlds and help eliminate the post-wedding waste by partnering with vendors and engaged couples to let her distribute leftover food to the men and women on the streets of Pittsburgh. Her unique insight into the homeless world made her wish she had something else to offer, especially to homeless women; she wanted to help give them hope, worth and make them feel beautiful. Enter her new project, Worth Manifesto.
With the idea of repurposing what people already own (and don’t use), Worth Manifesto collects unwanted makeup bags (think Ipsy), travel size toiletries and makeup. Sandra then delivers these items, along with a personal, handwritten note, to women on the streets. She hopes that by giving the gift of makeup, beauty products and encouraging words, the most vulnerable women will be reminded of their self worth.
We don’t need to be rich in order to help others, all we need is to be generous and share what we have with those who have none.” -Sandra Villaroel
Since Worth Manifesto’s launch on July 1, Sandra has already seen hundreds of donations, which are now being distributed among homeless women in South Side and Downtown Pittsburgh. The outpouring of support also encouraged Sandra to launch a campaign specifically focused on helping women affected by the border crisis. The campaign’s goal is to gather 1,000 bags to send to women at the border. The first batch of bags is going to the respite center in McAllen, TX, where men, women and children refugees stop to rest, have a warm meal, shower and change into clean clothing. According to the director of the respite center, an average of 300 women go through this center daily.
Want to help Worth Manifesto and the Border Campaign? Here are four simple ways:
- Donate your unwanted makeup bags. Did you know there are more than 3 million Ipsy subscribers? That’s a lot of adorable Ipsy bags out there! If there are any lying around your house that you don’t need, Worth Manifesto will take them!
- Donate travel-sized makeup and hygiene products. For the Pittsburgh project, any unused makeup and beauty products are needed. The Border Campaign is specifically looking for following items in travel sizes:
- Tampons/Sanitary pads
- See more about the types of products that are being accepted here.
- Write a simple, encouraging note. Notes in English are welcome for the Pittsburgh project, and the Border Campaign is specifically looking for people to write encouraging notes in Spanish. See the Worth Manifesto website for samples.
- Donate money. The estimated price of one full kit is $12. Donations are welcome via PayPal or CashApp to help Worth Manifesto mail the bags and buy supplies.
The deadline to donate to the Campaign for Women at the Border is July 31; however, donations will still be accepted after this time to be distributed to women on the streets of Pittsburgh, as well as other projects nationally. All donations can be dropped or shipped to 932 Mirror St, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.