GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Local non-profit Hope & Olive is restoring confidence with a touch of makeup. The organization provides free permanent makeup services to those who have experienced life-altering circumstances such as cancer, alopecia, or trichotilomania.
“Permanent makeup eyebrows, eyeliner is sometimes requested, lips would be maybe for somebody who has a cleft lip," said founder Jill Ullmer. "We also do areola restoration after reconstruction from breast cancer."
The non-profit is currently holding its 3rd annual Soles4Hope Shoe Drive throughout April and May. Anyone can drop off new or used gently-worn shoes at one of 21 donation sites around Northeast Wisconsin. You can see the full list of donation sites here.
All of the shoes that are collected are sent to an organization called Funds2Orgs, which will donate the shoes to impoverished countries. Hope & Olive will receive 40 cents for every pound of shoes donated. Ullmer says their goal is to receive 10,000 pairs of shoes by the end of May.
Ullmer got the idea to start the non-profit after working as a permanent makeup artist in Green Bay.
"Once I got into my career I realized there were so many people that needed permanent makeup services for medical reasons and there was a need to be able to help them at no cost," Ullmer said.
“You wouldn’t think about permanent makeup as having such a big impact on people’s lives but it truly does," said Ellie Wichman, a volunteer with Young Life ministry who volunteered to help bag shoes for Hope & Olive.
Ullmer says the permanent makeup services that Hope & Olive provides are transformational for the self esteem of the organization's recipients.
“What we’re doing is giving our recipients a piece of themselves back and making them feel more confident," Ullmer said. "It’s increasing their self esteem, it’s making them walk with a little extra bounce in their step.”