Industry • Community

5 Beauty Charities to Throw Money At This Holiday Season

It’s the giving season, so here’s how to give back to the beauty community

2021 was a comeback year for many beauty businesses, with customer volume finally returning to a place that put many of us into the black. But for a lot of folk in the industry, times are still tough, and they need our support. If you have the means to share goodwill this holiday season, these are some groups that will help stylists and businesses in need — whether because of COVID-19 or any other reason.

1. The PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund

The most prominent charity currently supporting beauty workers is the PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund from the Professional Beauty Association. Backed by funding from industry giants like L’Oreal, Wahl, and Redken (and Boulevard), the PBA fund gives applicants the chance to receive a one-off $500 Visa gift card to spend on whatever they need the most. The PBA has given out more than $1.5 million in this manner, and plans to keep going until they run out of funds. You can chip in directly, or by purchasing certain products and services linked on PBA’s website. 100% of donations go directly to funding applications, and qualified applicants are chosen via a random lottery.

While COVID-19 may still be the biggest cause of salon and spa closures, the PBA also offers a disaster relief fund to cover other major cataclysms.

2. Salon & Spa Relief Fund

The Salon & Spa Relief Fund has awarded more than $1.2 million in grants since its founding in 2005 — but the number of people needing help hugely increased during the pandemic. Dedicated to supporting salons in need after devastating events or natural disasters, the organization has given out grants to more than 200 businesses during COVID. However, the number of applicants dwarfs the amount of support the charity is able to provide, with the group receiving more than 2,000 applications “due to COVID-19, hurricanes and wildfires.”

The Fund accepts donations either online or via check, and you’re able to specify if you would prefer to support relief from a specific disaster, such as Hurricanes Ida, Laura, or Sally, COVID-19, or the California Wildfires.

3. The California Nail Salon Community Care Fund

More regional than the other entries on this list, the California Nail Salon Community Care Fund was put together to help a very specific community: the roughly 70% of California’s 440,000 manicurists who are Vietnamese. Most of these women are refugees, immigrants, and low-wage workers, and so particularly affected by COVID-19 and the closures that followed it. 100% of donated funds go directly to Californian manicurists needing emergency assistance. The Fund comes from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, a grassroots justice group representing this underserved community.

4. BeautyUnited

BeautyUnited began in 2020 to raise funds inside the beauty industry to support frontline workers during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. But the organization has since shifted its focus towards supporting Black and Indigenous people in the industry in the face of widespread racial injustice. The BeautyUnited Mentorship program has provided 52 Black and Indigenous beauty leaders with more than 300 hours of mentorship, and the non-profit is looking to expand to better support helping underrepresented people gain access to funding and support.

5. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy

While not specifically aimed at beauty and wellness businesses, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy is one of the largest nonprofits in the world of disaster support. I has given out more than $30 million to more than 150 organizations during the pandemic, focused on “assisting low-income households, small businesses, immigrants, refugees, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, religious and ethnic minorities, older adults, people with disabilities, and other underserved communities vulnerable to the physical health, psycho-social health and economic impacts of the pandemic.” If you don’t know who to give to locally, a group like the CDP can make sure your money is going somewhere where it will make a difference, and the organization is still soliciting donations for COVID-19 relief. You can see a full list of the groups the CDP has funded during the pandemic here.

The pandemic isn’t over yet, and while vaccination rates may be on the rise, it’s still a difficult time out there for many small businesses. For those of us lucky enough to have come through this year in good shape, it’s the least we can do to pitch back in a little and support our colleagues in the beauty business — and hope that 2022 is a turn for the better.

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