In a real emergency situation, the last thing on your mind is your beauty routine. But spending hours, days, weeks in a hospital worried about a loved one, there’s a chance you’ll be in dire need of some basic essentials. That’s why I’m proud to give these WINK (When In Need of Kindness) Bags a rightful nod.

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Here’s how it works: The WINK bags costs $25 dollars and when you purchase one, you will receive a high-end “Chevron” patterned bag filled with upscale toiletries from The Soap & Paper Factory– fun things, like a solid perfume, moisturizer, lip gloss, etc. Now here’s where the kindness kick in: Thanks to your purchase, a second clear bag filled with donated crucial basic necessities like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturizer, etc. – is automatically donated directly to a designated Ronald McDonald Family Room in the United States. If a parent is in that room, things are not good. The idea was inspired by a mom, Laura Metro’s near-death drowning of her three-year old son.

“This room is for parents of critically ill kids who literally cannot leave the hospital because their child’s “status” could change at any moment,” writes Laura on the WINK website. “Like many parents in these situations, we had nothing. I had arrived on a helicopter with only my purse, Clay’s blanket and still in my sweaty exercise clothes. Many hours later, Clay was stabilized enough so I could leave him briefly to take a shower in the Ronald McDonald House Family Room. By the showers were little bags filled with travel size toiletries obviously homemade and put together by loving hands. It was as though I had been handed a bar of gold. I was finally able to wash off the day. I have never forgotten those little bags and what they symbolized… love and hope.”

This is a great do-good gift to give this upcoming holiday season (teachers, bus drivers, hostess, grab bags, friends…) For another way to assist those in a critical time of need, you can follow Laura’s lead by donating new, unopened travel size toiletries of any brand.

It’s just such a simple concept: When you give a WINK bag, you give someone you know, and someone you’ll never meet, something truly beautiful… kindness.


Janene Mascarella is the beauty editor of BELLA NYC Magazine. Follow Janene on Twitter!

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