Ashley Noll visits child recipient of the Adopt a Mom program. Photo by Ashley Toman: The Signal.
Ashley Toman The Signal
Directors and consultants with Mary Kay Cosmetics have taken a stand to help make the lives of those battling cancer a little brighter by participating in an annual project where anyone can “Adopt a Mom for Mother’s Day.”
Now individuals can “adopt” a mother who has a child battling cancer by providing the child with a Mary Kay gift basket for his or her mother on Mother’s Day.
For the sixth consecutive year, Mary Kay consultants and directors are teaming up with Houston hospitals to help bring some joy to families dealing with cancer.
Kathy Bullard, executive sales director at Mary Kay Cosmetics, came up with the program in 2006 so that she could help people, especially children, through Mary Kay Cosmetics.
“With my love for children and passion to help others and admiration of Mary Kay Inc., I came up with the ‘Adopt a Mom’ program for children with cancer,” Bullard said. “The children love it when we come in their room at the hospital and tell them we brought them a gift to give their mommy for Mother’s Day.”
Many may be familiar with the hot pink Mary Kay makeup containers, catalogs and skin products. However, they may not be aware of the annual projects and events held to support cancer research through Mary Kay Cosmetics.
By purchasing a $25 basket, one can provide a sick child with a gift valued at more than $40 in Mary Kay products.
The gift baskets are then delivered to cancer patients at Houston hospitals, such as Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Ronald McDonald House.
Any unpurchased baskets are donated to Shriner’s Hospital, Casa de Esperanza de los Niños, and the House of Hope for Children in Houston.
“We have been lucky enough to receive Mary Kay gifts for a few years, and each time we give them to our patients’ mothers they are so incredibly thankful,” said Kate Shamszad, child director at MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital. “These moms work so hard to take care of their children that they rarely get a moment for themselves. The gift bags give them a chance to feel pampered and remember to take care of themselves.”
Van full of gifts on delivery day. Photo by Ashley Toman: The Signal.
Jamee Rivera, community relations coordinator at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, explained that the children are very grateful for the Mary Kay consultants who deliver the baskets before Mother’s Day.
“The ‘Adopt a Mom’ project has been an incredible success,” Rivera said. “ I believe the project has nearly tripled in size since the very first year.”
Bullard found her inspiration to create the project through the success of The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, which she describes as, “a wonderful charitable foundation that supports finding a cure for cancer.”
The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation’s mission is to “eliminate cancer and to end the epidemic of violence against women.”
In 1996, The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was established to formalize the raising and distributing of research funds for cancer.
The biggest indication that the “Adopt a Mom” project has been successful is the continued participation of hospitals in the program for the past six years.
“Every year we get more and more donations,” said Allison Noll, independent sales director at Mary Kay Cosmetics. “ The children absolutely love it. It is a very heartwarming experience. Overall, the children are filled with joy. Being able to see the child’s face when they give their mother a gift is so rewarding.”
Bullard expects to sell 300 baskets this year to individuals interested in helping children diagnosed with cancer give their mother a gift for Mother’s Day.
“It is an amazing day filled with joy and tears,” Bullard said. “The hospitals that allow us to hand deliver gifts are so great to work with as they escort us around and let us see the joy on the childrens’ faces as we hand them a gift. That is priceless and such a blessing to make someone else happy.”
To learn more about sponsoring a gift basket for the “Adopt a Mom Project,” contact Kathy Bullard directly at 281-701-8499 or .