Tuesday, March 30, 2010



Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle NYC
Words/Images Judith Ecochard

Last week, we attended a breakfast that heralded the launch of an online campaign by the makers of Botox® Cosmetic…and introduced spokeswoman TV personality (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and the VERY CONGENIAL Didiayer Snyder---- as brand advocate/ambassador to the popular injectable.

Actually the #1 injectable, non-invasive cosmetic procedure right now…that “ reduces the appearance of the ‘11’ those moderate to severe vertical lines between the brows.”

The campaign works like this---access the dedicated Internet site EXPRESS KINDNESS CAMPAIGN and fill out the--- one minute (less), eight question profile---including a description of a personal act of kindness. Allegan the company, in turn will donate $25 to one of three chosen charities:

MAKE IT RIGHT (founded by Brad Pitt- with a mission to build at least 150, very eco savvy homes for working families in the devastated 9th ward of New Orleans post hurricane Katrina), (provides suitable work attire, coaching, and mentoring for disadvantaged women worldwide, trying to succeed and become self-sufficient individuals), or CHILDREN’S ACTION NETWORK(taps the entertainment community, among others to help kids in foster care with the basics-like luggage to pack their stuff in--- that most other children take for granted…and finding adoptive families).

Hint-fill it out > one time…and enable one than one charity to benefit!!!. And the questions are basic stuff…not a detailed personal privacy turnoff, IMHO.

Tweet or Facebook the campaign (the site explains just what to do)…and another $5 is donated, for a total of $30.

Add it adds up…that is serious dollars---topping out at $250, 000/per charity, in total. The campaign runs through June 2010.

FYI: The charities selected were chosen by other Botox® brand ambassadors--- the Emmy® nominated actress/singer Ugly Betty fabulousness Vanessa Williams, best-selling author Vicki Iovine, Oscar® nominated actress Virginia Madsen, and 5 time Gold medal gymnast Nadia Comaneci.

The panel itself lasted about an hour…and gave us time to ask the panel members Joy Gordon (CEO, Dress For Success), Jennifer Perry (Executive Director of the Children’s Action Network), Tom Gordon, Executive Director, Make It Right) and Board Certified Dermatologist/author Dr. Ellen Marmur (Simple Skin Beauty), questions…

Interesting for us, it was noted that most users of Botox® are working women who make under $100,000 a year…but who are also the most generous with their time and money---when it comes to giving to charities/non-profits.

Laurin Sydney, who wrote a book titled, LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE, masterfully led a lively discussion that included her recounting how a celebrity interview with George Clooney, the famous actor---motivated her to use Botox®---- back in 1992 when she was a CNN on air correspondent.

It was kind of a roundabout way of tying in--- getting rid of an ‘angry’ frown face----to acts of kindness…and the campaign…

Whatever…it worked for us.

Didiayer Snyder cheered on how excited she was “to celebrate acts of kindnessas it is a simple way that people can become part of the movement, ” via this online effort. She noted how five gal pals…filling out the survey for a combined total of $125 (or $150) “can dress a woman.”


Tom Gordon filled us in that the support $ will go to helping families “fill the gap” in affordability towards buying a rebuilt home “that is better” than what the 9th ward had before Katrina hit…. meaning made from non-toxic, storm resistant materials and construction, with solar panels …and elevated!

Joy Gordon informed us that Dress For Success started in the basement of a 4th Street NYC church …and how important it was to “create awareness…and get passionate about how to help women succeed.”

For the Children’s Action Network, Jennifer Perry stressed, “It is important to know the stories of the half a million kids (WOW) in foster care…and what they don’t have…and what every kids needs.” LIKE free dermatology and dental care.

The panelists each weighed in on the small acts of kindness that touched their hearts too.

Tom Gordon referred to Brad Pitt’s determination and a kid from upstate New York who saved up his $6/week allowance…and donated a total of $76. “I admire supporters like that.” PLUS: “The job is a mission…everyday something happens…it’s a powerful moment when the mailman starts delivering the mail (to a Make It Right home).”

Perry gave a special shout-out to actor/mench Henry Winkler who “uses his celebrity to give back…and get kids birthday presents.”

Dress For Success’ Joy Gordon recalled that amidst the millions of suits donated…how a donator went out of her way and took the time to hand write a note, tucked in the front jacket pocket, containing words of encouragement: “You are going to succeed…best of luck.”

Additionally, she recalled how she actually gave the shoes off her feet to a woman when a correct sized peds were not available. “…something so small meant so much to someone else,” Gordon recalled.

Dr. Marmur touched on her pro-bono surgeries, for a young, female skin cancer patient…and the lengths to which she and her colleagues went to not only remove the cancerous cells…but to also “make sure we don’t add more disfigurement…to the repair…because: WE CARE.”

All the panelists had personal stories why they loved their jobs…for as Joy Gordon noted…going from being a litigator to Dress For Success (first as Board Member, then on staff)…she is more able “to pay attention to the small things…and look for the good in people.”

There were some questions about Botox® itself…where it was emphasized that only tiny amounts of the toxin are used to temporarily block nerve signals in FDA approved areas of the face.

No surprise, “off-label” use has soared, according to Dr. Marmur but as with any medical procedure…it is vital to have treatment by only those who are experienced, qualified…and legit.

A question about the difference between Botox® Cosmetic and a similar working, Type A toxin, Dysport did come up...with the answer that “there have been no great studies to compare the two…and that both take 3-4 months to wear off.”

Possible side effects (redness, minor bruising) were mentioned too…as were the desired effects from a Botox® treatment…from “baby,” with a lot of expression…to a more frozen look, that seems to be out favor.

And an ice pack was deemed to be just as good as numbing the pain, anecdotally speaking, as a numbing cream.

We asked about donor overload…and the overwhelming need of so many at this time. Perry acknowledged “you might take a back seat for a couple of months…and the Children’s Action Network, as any organization, rolls with the ebb and flow…and sometimes you are not a priority.”

“But people understand what charity is.”

And as Didiayer Snyder concluded,

“We make it easy for people to give easily. This campaign just takes a little time and it is free.”

“I have never seen a gift too small or too big.”