Doing community service with the elderly can sometimes present challenges for volunteers. Often, they find that there is a huge generational gap that is difficult to fill. Rachel Doyle ’05 had these concerns in mind when she founded GlamourGals, an organization devoted to providing makeovers for senior citizens. By establishing this unique foundation, Doyle has captured the attention of many people worldwide, and has most recently been featured in American Eagle’s new “Live Your Life” ad campaign.
Doyle started the foundation in her junior year of high school in honor of her grandmother who had just passed away.
“I’ve always liked using my artistic abilities to better a situation,” Doyle said. “My friends and I enjoyed using makeup as a means of connecting with elderly people.”
The “Live Your Life” ad campaign is a contest sponsored by the American Eagle Outfitters clothing company that focuses on inspiring young adults to take action to better their communities. Six chosen winners will win up to $25,000 to pursue their cause.
As a feature in the ad, Doyle is no longer eligible to win.
“They saw me in CosmoGirl and asked me to be a feature in their new ad campaign,” Doyle said. “My main purpose in it is to try to inspire other people to pursue their ideas and to enter the competition.”
From the first makeover in Jan. 2000, GlamourGals has grown exponentially. On Oct. 23, GlamourGals held their first annual Leadership Training Institute Retreat in New York City to celebrate the foundation’s 1,500th makeover. At the conference, they also focused on leadership workshops geared at high school and college students.
From her first chapter that she started in her hometown in New York, Doyle has spread her organization around many other states including New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, and Illinois.
“It’s pretty amazing, I get emails and letters everyday from girls from North Dakota, Utah, to Vermont asking to start their own chapter,” Doyle said.
GlamourGals also has a chapter at Cornell. Amy Dressel ’06 serves as the chapter’s president.
“GlamourGals is a great way to do community service and gain respect,” Dressel said. “We make connections with older people who we don’t normally come into contact with. It’s wonderful to share stories with a different generation.”
According to GlamourGals.org, the organization’s website, Doyle and her foundation have been featured in many publications from Newsday and the New York Times to CosmoGirl and New York Teen. GlamourGals has also been featured on Oprah as well as CBS’s The Early Show. It has also been highlighted in a new seventh grade health textbook.
GlamourGals has just recently teamed up with Maven Cosmetics in its newest philanthropy event. From Feb. 1 to April 29, 50 percent of all proceeds generated from the Mint Everest flavor lip gloss will be donated to GlamourGals. Their goal is to sell 4,000 units of lip gloss.
As a senior, Doyle intends to remain committed to her organization even after graduation.
“I will always be involved in GlamourGals,” Doyle said. “We’ve expanded into more than five states and have over 300 volunteers, and we’re still growing.”
Archived article by Emily Gordon
Sun Staff Writer