Facing an accumulation of overstock and wanting to weed out some of her merchandise this week, Wystle owner Rachael Melot decided to donate $6,000 in items to a local nonprofit.

Facing an accumulation of overstock and wanting to weed out some of her merchandise this week, Wystle owner Rachael Melot decided to donate $6,000 in items to a local nonprofit.

Her initial thoughts were to send the gift to either Legacy Parenting or Project: SAFE.

Settling on Project: SAFE, Melot then reached out to Executive Director Renee Clemmons.

The nonprofit offers free assistance through a range of services relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, as well as counseling/education or assistance with filing a protective order.

In many cases, these victims of abuse are forced to flee from their homes without warning — leaving behind many items essential to daily life.

“If I had to leave my house in the middle of the night with a kid on my hip, I would not think to take my makeup bag,” she said. “But what a world of difference it is for us as people when we can put our face on, and what that can mean for somebody's self-esteem, their ability to walk in and get a job or have a conversation — or just confidence.”

Melot said it's a blessing to her to be able to offer the merchandise to an organization that can make good use of it. She said she plans to make another donation later on.

“This is really incredible,” Clemmons said. “We are really appreciative and I can honestly tell you the need is there and we have been struggling to fill that.”

Emily Simpson, with Project: SAFE, said she has made attempts to secure such items.

“I have literally gone store-to-store trying to find people willing to donate makeup,” Simpson said. “It's been so difficult.”

She said those she spoke with said their corporate headquarters don't allow it.

Melot's offering has a two-fold benefit, as she mentors her employees — or Wystle Dolls, as she refers to them. It's important to them to be part of this, too, she said.

“What I hope to instill in them, as they work here, is that this is important to all of us as neighbors, and people in our community, that we are always giving to people who need it — whether it's in crisis or trauma or just a phase of life — because at some point we all go through them.”

Project: SAFE's service area is Pottawatomie and Lincoln Counties. In 2018, the organization served more than 1,300 clients. 

For those seeking help, call the Project: SAFE hotline at 1 (800) 821-9953.

For more information about Project: SAFE, visit the website at projectsafeok.com, visit the office at 313 N. Union, email info@projectsafeok.com or call (405) 273-9953.