Who would have thought that an everyday beauty item could help save tiny furry animals? As it turns out, old mascara brushes can be repurposed by being sent to wildlife rehabilitation centers because they are a crucial grooming tool for small animals.
Savannah Trantham, a young woman from Asheville, North Carolina, who happens to be one of the co-directors at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, posted a status on her personal Facebook page asking friends and followers to donate their used mascara wands to the wildlife refuge in 2017. What she wasn’t expecting was for her post to start such an overwhelming worldwide movement.
The viral post got shared over 60,000 times on social media and received over 5,000 comments from people wanting to help. The story was even picked up by news outlets.
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Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit sanctuary that works towards the rehabilitation and release of animals in Western North Carolina. The organization was founded in October of 2014. In 2018, they opened an urgent care center for injured and orphaned animals. The organization is mostly run by volunteers, who donate their time and resources to help in the conservation of wildlife.
After Savannah’s post, the organization launched a nationwide campaign called “Wands for Wildlife.” They urged people to clean mascara brushes with soap and water before sending them via post to them. Surprisingly, mascara brushes make an ideal tool for removing fleas, eggs, and larvae from the coats or feathers of small animals such as possums and baby ducks.
According to the organizations’ website, what makes mascara brushes so effective in cleaning and removing pests from the fur of small animals is how close to each other the bristles are.
The first package was received today! Watch WLOS ABC 13 News at 6 o’clock to see the interview with John Le WLOS Reporter#smallbrushbigimpact #Brushthebugsaway #AppalachianWild
The organization also created a video and posted it on their official YouTube channel and explained how crucial this campaign is for the survival of these animals. Savannah explains in the clip, “Even though it seems so small for so many people to give a mascara wand, it really means life or death for a baby animal.”
The response was beyond belief. The whole campaign now has an official Facebook page.
Recycle old mascara wands to help us save wild lives! Quack, Quack! #WandsforWildlfe #Recycle #HappyEarthDay…
Savannah herself found the response overwhelming. As she updated on the original Facebook post, “I never thought cleaning out my old makeup drawers and sharing some advice to help wild animals would lead to this many shares and so much support! My heart is overflowing.”
Due to the enormous success that started with one social media post, The Appalachian Wildlife refuge has now received a considerable number of brushes from all over the world, so many in fact that the non-profit organization is only accepting wand donations during October and February. However, they are urging people to send monetary contributions or gifts from their wishlist to continue the work they do all year round.
RESCUE/REHAB/RELEASE SUCCESS STORYHenderson County licensed volunteer rehabilitator Laura Flagg has her hands full…
This inspiring idea made its way across the Atlantic as well. The Scottish Sun reported in 2019 that The NEW ARC Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland, also placed an appeal requesting people to send them used mascara wands. It was an equally successful campaign, as they posted on their Facebook, “We now have (or have been offered) more Wands than Hogwarts – so we are now closing the plea for Mascara Wands.”
Apparently, it is also advised to discard your mascaras within three months as they are prone to have bacteria crawling in them. So it’s better to put these makeup brushes to use and help save these little animals’ lives.
Watch the video:
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Author: Lori C. Summers