When Project Glimmer was founded, its main goal was to give young girls the confidence they need to succeed.

Eight years later, the nonprofit is doing just that having donated 250,000 gifts of makeup and jewelry to teenage girls in foster care and in disadvantaged communities. Now the organization is taking its mission a step further with its Heat Styling program.

“Our mission is all about inspiring these girls to believe in themselves by letting them know their community cares, so it’s all about the gift,” said Chrissy Shea, executive director of Project Glimmer. “We always say we give to girls in the currency of girls, which is often times things to make them feel beautiful on the inside so they can shine outward.”

In partnership with Redken and Cutler Salon hairstylist Jenny Balding, the organization is collecting new and gently used heat styling tools, like blow dryers or flat irons, to donate to teenage girls who wouldn’t be able to purchase these tools on their own.

“At the moment, every woman wants to feel more empowered and wants to help young girls because if you don’t have confidence when you’re younger then it won’t help you move forward,” Balding said. “Something as simple as being able to groom yourself nicely with a hair dryer or hot tool is going to make a big difference in how you present yourself and it’s going to give you more confidence.”

Through the partnership with Balding, Project Glimmer hopes heat styling manufacturers, hair-care brands, salons and individuals will support the program with donations, raising funds or spreading the word via social media. The organization is also asking beauty and fashion brands to donate any non-expired excess products, like in old packaging or discontinued items, to include in its donation drives.

“Even though we’ve already seen progress, the need [for the program] is there now more than ever,” Shea continued. “People want to be advocates for girls and this is one way that the beauty and fashion industry can really get behind.”

Along with the Heat Styling program, Project Glimmer is also gearing up for its holiday donation drive, collecting more than 150,000 gifts to meet its goal. Donations to the organization can be made through its web site.

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