A beautiful success for Boyle
by Staff Writer
The success of OperationBeautiful just keeps growing for south Charlotte resident Caitlin Boyle. And now, more than 60 deserving girls from the Charlotte area will benefit from OperationBeautiful’s success, too.
Boyle won first place in Amway’s Positivity Project contest last weekend – an honor that brings much-needed attention to her website, as well as 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 $10,000 to put girls in need through its 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’s gift. 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 OperationBeautiful is an excellent example of how positivity can make a big difference in the lives of young women,” said Gary Mougalian, marketing director at Amway.
OperationBeautiful was born in June 2009 by the simple act of Boyle leaving a sticky-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. She’s now received more than 7,000 sticky 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 Amway announced the winner of its contest 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 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 three through eight 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 locations throughout the Queen City.
“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.