The success of OperationBeautiful just keeps going for local resident Caitlin Boyle. And now, more than 60 lower-income girls from the Charlotte area will benefit from OperationBeuatiful’s success, too.
Boyle recently won first place in Amway’s Positivity Project contest last weekend – an honor that brings much-needed attention to her website while coming with a $10,000 prize. The money isn’t what matters for Boyle. She’s not even keeping it. But it will matter for Girls on the Run, who will use the donated $10,000 to put girls in need through their self-respect and healthy living course.
“It was a very pleasant surprise for us,” Jessica Otto, program director for Girls on the Run Charlotte, said of Boyle handing over the cash. The OperationBeautiful founder hopes her gift teaches the girls the power of positivity – a power that got Boyle where she is now.
“I’m really glad I won … because I really believe in that charity,” Boyle said.
“(Boyle’s) work with Operation Beautiful is an excellent example of how positivity can make a big difference in the lives of young women,” Gary Mougalian, marketing director at Amway, added.
OperationBeautiful was started in June 2009 when Boyle leaving a post-it note message on a woman’s bathroom mirror reading, “You are beautiful.” She’d just had a bad day, and wanted anyone else feeling down to remember that message.
She later blogged about the experience, which quickly blew up into television appearances and a book. Before she could even catch her breath, word about OpeartionBeautiful.com was spreading across the world.
“I really just wanted to do something nice for someone else, and it kind of went viral,” Boyle said of her overnight success. She’s now received more than 7,000 post-it notes from dedicated readers of the site.
The latest step in OperationBeautiful’s rise came this month, when Boyle and 10 others were invited to a John Tesh concert in Hagerstown, Md., where the winner of Amway’s contest was announced during intermission. And though Boyle wished all the contestants could have come away with the top prize – “it was really cool to see all the different ways to be positive and impact the community,” Boyle said – she came away with the victory.
“It seemed to go really fast,” Boyle said of the evening. “All of a sudden we were on stage, it was really exciting.”
Contest officials picked Boyle the winner based on her submission’s creativity, positivity impact, inspiration and plan to pay-it forward. In addition to helping more than 60 girls in grades third through eighth to participate in Girls on the Run, Boyle’s gift also will allow the Charlotte-based nonprofit to open five new running groups, which will meet at various locations throughout the area.
“It’s great timing for us,” said Otto, the Girls on the Run program director, as the organization had halted plans on expanding due to the lack of money.
“(With the $10,000) we will be able to provide these girls with this amazing experience they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise,” Otto said.