Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mary Kay - Today Show Holiday Gift Drive

I am generally an easygoing and mild mannered individual. During the holidays, my pleasant overly optimistic nature only increases. With Christmas tunes in the air, beautiful decorations everywhere, and many constant reminders of the Gift we all received some 2000 years ago in the form of Baby Jesus, it is difficult to snap me out of my “goodwill to ALL men (and women)” mood.

Even with increased stress at work and the fuss of the holidays, I am much more forgiving of others offences, charitable in my “assuming or offering the benefit of the doubt”, and almost borderline obnoxious in my “nothing can bother me” attitude. As devastating as the news has been lately, I always come back to the reason for the season and, as Horatio Gates Spafford so keenly wrote, “It is well with my soul”.

Nonetheless, something has so thoroughly rattled my otherwise amicable soul today that I could not bear to ignore it. In the phenomenal holiday spirit of giving, Mary Kay has generously donated $2.6M in product to NBC’s Today Show’s 14th Annual Holiday Toy and Gift Drive. “What is wrong with that?” you might ask. Nothing. What has nauseated me so thoroughly that I lost all appetite today was the incredibly insensitive, bitter response to this generosity on Pink Truth.

The release from Mary Kay, as quoted by Pink Truth is:

Tune in your television or set your TiVo! Saturday, Dec. 15, Mary Kay Inc. will appear in a short segment live on NBC’s The Today Show to present a donation to the Today Show Toy Drive.

This is the third year Mary Kay Inc., in conjunction with the Direct Selling Association, has made a donation to the Today Show Toy Drive, which was established to provide gifts to countless women and children nationwide. We're happy to report we have increased our contribution this year to $2.6 million in product from $2.4 million in product in 2006. Mary Kay’s contribution included thousands of Gigi ceramic coin banks and MK Signature® Lip Gloss. Mary Kay Inc. is one of the largest contributors through the Direct Selling Association, with 48 member companies donating approximately $7 million in products and services.

So please tune in to The Today Show, Saturday, Dec. 15 from 7 – 9 a.m. for the short segment outside in the plaza. And you can check the News Desk on the Mary Kay InTouch® Web site later this week for specific appearance time.

Warmest regards,

Randall Oxford
Vice President of Corporate Communications

I first read the lamentably pathetic complaint this morning before heading off to work. Although short and to the point, there is no mistaking the blatant criticism given and pure contempt felt toward this selfless act of charity.

“Mary Kay's donation is neither toys, nor is it much of contribution.”

“So they can trumpet this big donation, which probably cost them less than 1/4 of that retail value AND they probably couldn't do anything with the junky old lipglosses anyway.”

(although you can never be too sure, I believe these sentiments were from Tracy)

Then “The Scribbler” added:

“Ceramic coin banks and lip gloss? Talk about asking for an egg and receiving a scorpion - it's a TOY drive, for crying out loud!

In other news, after Mary Kay's insanely thoughtful, no-holds-barred donation, mall Santa beatings rose by 65%.”

Now while I feel a great deal of (what is the word…) pity for women that are so bitter that they can’t appreciate that a corporation like Mary Kay (say what you will about their business model) would try to help those less fortunate, I expected it to end there. In fact I kind of hoped I would see at least one, “C’mon guys, its charity” comment. There was not one all day. Every single person that commented today (thus far – all 26) berated Mary Kay in some way for their effort. With the exception of ONE person that said, “I have to say that I like the bank... I really do. But I am a dog person and have always been partial to the little foofy ones.” Not quite defending Mary Kay, but we will call it “neutral”.

Now as I said earlier, my tolerance for other peoples odd behavior is abnormally high around the holidays. When someone goes out of their way to do something for someone less fortunate than them, and the gift is rejected, I can often extend understanding toward the rejecter. If someone living on the street was given a water purifier designed to go on the faucet of a sink, for instance, and they rejected it (even violently), I would say, “well maybe that wasn’t the best gift for them”. But when anyone (plural) who HAS plenty, who is TYPING ON A COMPUTER, probably in a WARM HOUSE, and NO IDEA what it feels like to suffer (except maybe the “sting” of evil credit card debt) comes out ATTACKING the people that are trying to help those less fortunate, I have ZERO tolerance.

The Scribbler, NewJourney, pinkpeace, Lazy Gardens, okwithoutMK, Rachel, pinkfoglifted, ContourTHIS, Queen of Section 2, Pink Jihad, makincents, Christine, mkdv24, PinkIsNotMySignatureColor, SuzyQ, Nofoolinme, Raisinberry, Truth Not Tears, Timetogo and Tracy* (if it was indeed you that posted this)… HOW DARE YOU? Do you have no sense of decency? Do you have no shame? Would you prefer that these good people less fortunate than you get nothing? Do you really think that YOU should speak on their behalf? You don’t like Mary Kay lip-gloss? Good for you. But how dare you reject that gift on behalf of the recipients? You don’t like the cute little poodle bank? How “grown up of you”. But what gives you the sense of entitlement to suggest that the “thousands” that will be receiving this instead of nothing this year will reject it?

*note FadingPinkPom is not in this list as she did not actually say anything negative.

I have come to know and understand that Pink Truth does not enjoy research. Factual information eludes the readers AND writers at Pink Truth like Trix Cereal eludes “the Trix bunny”. As such, I have done a little of the research they SHOULD have done before making their unfounded accusations so they can realize just how shameful their behavior was today.

First of all, lets get a little clarity on the charity that Mary Kay has chosen to participate in.

Last holiday season, TODAY viewers, website visitors and corporate contributors teamed up to provide $26 million worth of toys, books, games, clothing, toiletries, electronics, musical instruments, CDs, videos, cosmetics and other suitable gifts to more than four million children via 203 organizations in all 50 states.

In 1994, the "TODAY Show Toy Drive" became the first independent gift drive in morning show history. The unique program is designed to provide gifts for impoverished children and teenagers up to age 18 nationwide. This year's effort has already begun, with items being shipped early to communities who have dire need to house and clothe millions of children. It's now time to reach out to every viewer. Please help us during these trying times to give a gift to every child on our list. For many of them, we are the ONLY source of gifts for the holidays.

MSNBC – (emphasis mine)

This is not a “TOY” drive only. It is a GIFT drive. The target demographic for these gifts ranges all the way up to 18. They are asking for (among other things) toiletries, cosmetics, and other suitable gifts. Lip-gloss is (depending on where you are from) a toiletry or a cosmetic. The “gigi ceramic coin bank” is arguably a very desirable item. My wife “had to have one” when she saw it at seminar. It may not be my “style” exactly, but I know some people (even one or two on Pink Truth) that absolutely love it!

Let’s look at some of the other things being said about this gift drive.

“Bill Kennedy Jr. said he called the "Today Show" right away when he first heard about the gift drive. He said organizers were happy that he called because they thought Udder Cream would be a good gift for adolescent girls, who don't usually receive a lot of donated items.

Redex this year donated 40,000 units of Udder Cream, including four-ounce tubes and six-ounce bottles.” –

“As part of its One by One Campaign for Children, Quixtar Inc. is donating more than $522,000 in product to NBC's Today Show Toy Drive via a direct selling industry effort to provide holiday gifts for thousands of children nationwide. Quixtar's gift of NAO never accept ordinary™ cosmetics and accessories is aimed at teen girls, one of the groups often forgotten during holiday giving drives. Quixtar's donation is being shipped to non-profit organizations across the country for delivery to disadvantaged children and families, providing in many cases the only gifts some children and teens may receive this holiday season.”

Media Newswire –

If any of you over there had taken a little time to look into this, I suspect you would have discovered the same thing I just revealed here. Teen girls as a group are often forgotten during holiday giving drives. Based on that information, I would say that Mary Kay’s gift is more than just appropriate. It seems that it is perhaps amongst the more important gifts, reaching a segment that is often neglected.

It is with a very sad heart that I conclude this. I feel sad for the victims of the many circumstances that have left people in unfortunate scenarios. I feel sad for the many people and corporations that have gone out of their way to give where they were not required to only to be criticized by bitter, indifferent elitists. But most of all, I am sad for the women who are so deceived that they think they are helping people with this brutal, thoughtless attack on the goodwill of a company trying to reach out at this most wonderful time of celebration and giving. I earnestly pray for all of you. It is with great faith in the Power of God and great hope in His care for ALL people that I intercede on your behalf that He would shine His merciful light into the darkness of the pain and misery that has grasped your souls and draw you back into His Kingdom of faith, hope and love. I apologize to any of my readers that are not believers or are offended by the thought of praying, but my heart is so heavy for these women and my belief in the power of God so strong that I can’t help but express my faith in this way. It will not be the norm for this site, I promise.

Pink Truth, I leave you with this. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Your uncanny inability to divide fact from fiction has led you down a dangerous road. Your post today ridiculing a company that is helping others is absolutely and unequivocally unacceptable. If you have any decency, you will take that post down and replace it with an apology of sorts. In your attempt to defame the company you so love to hate, you have inflicted irrevocable damage on the very spirit this holiday season has come to embody. While I will continue to pray for each and every one of you, I will with every ounce of my energy declare the deplorable nature of your actions. This is truly pathetic. In the strongest sense of the words, I am appalled, disgusted, revolted and dismayed. I have nothing left to say.

If you are a reader on Pink Truth and would like to speak out against this atrocity, but fear being banned, I offer you full anonymity. I would not want to lump you in with this group. Please, for the sake of my devastated holiday spirit, let me know that not all of you are this far gone.


  1. David,

    WOW, that was GREAT. I am with you brother. I am so sick of the people on pt trying to knock anything that MK does.

    MK was founded on Godly principles and many can't stand that.

    I am so thankful for the one gift that the Lord God Almighty has given us and when you receive that gift that He has given there is no way that you can be bitter and ugly and rude. He changes your heart and you have a heart for those that are less forunate.

    You know the Word says to pray for those that despitfully use you. So I think that we need to do that. That they might have a real encounter because that will be the only thing that changes them.

    To try and say that this is something other than what it is, is mean spirited. There are kids other than little ones that don't have anything. I know that when I was a teen I would have loved to have gotten makeup or perfume or something like that. I just don't understand HATE and that is what these on pt promote.

    I pray that MK keeps doing what they are doing and do it in the Name of the Lord and He will greatly Bless them.

    Have a GREAT MK DAY

  2. Well said, David! The first time I saw PT was when it was still called MK Sucks. I can't remember if it was then or more recently when I saw their site (I think I stumbled upon their site less than 5 times) that they were criticizing an MK consultant for giving to charity. They said she was doing it out of guilt. HUH? If you're affiliated with MK, you can do no right--even when you do do right! I mentioned that on another thread (Today on PT, perhaps). I always thought if you have more than you need, charity is a great option! Last year I raised money for the hospital that treated my cousin's lymphoma (he's cured, by the way, and was able to attend my wedding!). I was able to donate $120--my mom said I donated more than she and my dad had. :) Then, this past year, I was able to raise money for my efforts in The Breast Cancer 3 Day as well as donate for some of my friends and relatives participating in other charity walks. It felt great! I have never been a position where I could give to charity before. Mary Kay has made that possible for me!

    Pink Bren, I completely agree with you. Teens would love to get lip gloss and preteens would probably love the bank (and some teens, too). Charity is charity. Giving is giving. How can it be deemed unworthy? People who speak that way usually take for granted what they themselves have.

  3. my question to all who critize is this: How much was your donation?

    It is so typical of them to behave this way, and I assure you David that they will most likely be insulted that you want to pray for them. I feel that you are sincere when you say that you want to do that, but they will say that you are being "holier than thou" and will become even more defensive and accuse you of being condesending. I say this because I remember comments from the early days of PT that ripped to shreds promkers who made comments about their faith suggesting that PTers need to seek God to let go of thier bitterness.

    Its awful but I would not expect any less of them. Most of it is the "groupthink" mentality, or mob behavior. Many over there cant think for themselves, they just follow suit and join in on the bashing.

    Those that are homeless, fleeing bad situations etc.. need all kinds of toiletries. Toys are great but many people appreciate things that they can actually use. Shelters are strapped a lot of times and many come there with the clothes that they have on their backs nothing more. When you have women trying to get back on their feet, trying to find a place to live, trying to get jobs so that they can start their life over, they appreciate gifts from others like a little lip gloss, cleanser or a nice suit to wear on an interview.

    There is too much waste in this country as it is. If MK corporate had just thrown away all of that merchandise, I'm am sure the critics would have sounded more like "this company is so wastefull, they could have given those products to women in need". You see, you just cant satisfy those who are bent on being bitter and complaining no matter what is done.

    These products were perfectly good products that probably would have been disposed of if they had not gone to someone who needed them. It would have been wrong for them to have thrown them out when so many women could use them who otherwise could not afford em, so what if they may have been outdated, or last seasons colors. The point is that they were quality products and I know they were appreciated.

    Beleive me, those comments are tame compared to the way PT used to be. I remember when PTers would cyberstalk some directors and actually harras and name names and bully them. Tracy has tried to change things because I believe she recieved so much bad press for it, but I am with you she needs to take that post down.
    Congrats MK on a job well done!

  4. Here is what I posted on PT. I posted it here, as well as another blog, because I am pretty sure it won't last too long.

    First of all, even at 1/4 the retail of 2.6 mil, you are still talking $650,000 in products. Nothing to sneeze at, IMHO. I would wager it is about $649,999 more than anyone on here donated, too. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

    My daughter is 9. She would love the bank and lip gloss. In fact, she has ASKED FOR lip gloss for Christmas (not that she is getting MK lip gloss, but that's another story).

    As far as giving a piggy bank to needy children, it is a BANK, not a mutual fund. You put coins in it, not fortunes. Even needy kids have spare change sometimes. >:(

    Did MK donate discontinued products? So what? They didn't HAVE to donate squat. They could have trashed the stuff and taken a tax writeoff. They didn't. Instead, they donated it, and I am sure that if a girl gets lipgloss from MK, she won't KNOW or CARE if it is discontinued. She will just USE it.

    Why rip MK apart for doing GOOD deeds? >:( If you are so concerned about these kids, then think about them - are they really going to care about the politics of HOW or WHY they got a gift on Christmas? No. They will simply have something to unwrap and be happy to get.

    JMHO Sorry I didn't jump on the bandwagon and rah rah with ya, but my pitchfork is in the shop. ;)

    If you really think what MK did was wrong, why not start a PT toy drive for the kids? Just a thought.

  5. IMHO some people are so wrapped up (not in pretty Christamas paper either) with trying to destroy something they see as evil. Yup, MK has some problems, but the simple answer is if you hate it so much quit. Get on with your life and do something meaningful. I am an ex-mker and was disallusioned by some of the practices so chose to leave the company.

    MK has done a lot of good things for women and children suffering in domestic violence situations. They also participate in the Look Good Feel Better Program which benefits women struggling with cancer it is part of the Cosmetics and Toiletries association. So they continue to do good work all year long.

    I applaud them for donating these items. To those at PT you may be bitter, but can't you swallow it a bit and think that as some of you put it "a lousy lipgloss and a bank" is better under the tree than nothing at all. When I went to our local Christmas bureau the gifts that are needed the most are for girls and boys in the age ranges of 12 to 18. When kids stop being cute and an age where people can buy cuddly toys, the donations dry up. When looking at the list by some of these kids, and it is the kids writing them, they are asking for haircare products like brushes, elastics, shampoo, etc. A young boy was asking for a warm sweatshirt. So each year I buy something for a boy and girl in the older age bracket and something for the younger ones and donate it.

    Who are we to judge an act of charity? I think these people need to look at themselves and need to issue an apology or at the very least make sure they have given something before they disparage anothers gift. It is just plain wrong. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

  6. Counting my BlessingsDecember 13, 2007 at 9:25 AM

    I think its time to put away petty grievances and look at the spirit it is intended and to who the gift is going to. When you look at the amount of product donated that will make a lot of teen girls happy and I for one would rather see someone be happy and have a lovely gift from MK or who ever. Does it matter in the end who donated a gift? I think it is important that someone did.

  7. Dave, please see my praises to you on my blog.

    Many have said everything I wanted to say here. You are all great ladies (and man!!).


  8. speaking the real truthDecember 13, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Okay, I've already commented on this topic under another subject so I am glad that you've all now voiced your outrage and disbelief and PT posts on this.

    Above how shameful it is, let's not skip one important fact. They keep referring to the donation as discontinued product, where do they get that? The banks are still for sale to consultants under the Seminar Sales booth and where did it say in the news release that the lip gloss was d/c? And, the retail value, IS THE VALUE. It is what it would cost someone to purchase that same product. No one said that it was their "cost" of the products, and when making donations, who lists cost? Isn't is almost always value???

    For the record, our lip gloss is actually good for ones lips, containing Vit. E and aloe, so it is pretty and helpful to someone who might have chapped lips!

    AND let me add, I received a call today asking me to donate...guess what??? LIP GLOSS or other items for 2 girls in a needy family. I WAS SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR LIP GLOSS!

    Don't forget that the same thing happened on PT after Hurricane Katrina. They found every way in the world to slam MK and its donations. They made fun of the pillows, etc., but didn't say much about the CASH that they gave and how they helped consultants resume their businesses with new Starter Kits and product to sell.

    I am glad that my little world inside of my head is not one that is just totally meant on distruction of someone or something else. That cannot be a great feeling. Why not live for something more noble? It's pretty sad, especially when you are less than honest in the way that you try to destroy.

  9. If you don't understand God and Mary Kay, you didn't know Mrs. Ash. I did, and I'll give you some truth about Mary Kay.

    Mary Kay & Mel Ash and I were members at Northway Baptist Church on Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas in the late 70's. I've sat with the Ash's during services. I've spoken to Mary Kay multiple times; she was a gracious woman. She also spoke many times to the congregation, as Pastor Bill Weber wanted her to share her faith and testimony.

    She wore two pins. One was a bumble bee. She explained that scientists say the bumble bee can't fly, yet it does. That was her philosophy for doing things ... do what they say can't be done. It was her message to women to be successful in a man's world. The second pin was 2 shovels, one much larger than the other. "The small shovel is what I give to God," Mary Kay Ash would say. "The large shovel is what He gives back to me."

    When we built our new education building, Mary Kay and Mel challenged the members, saying they would match all donations given on a particular Sunday. Many families reportedly took their 3-year pledge and donated it all on that day, so they could double the money. The Ash's donated over $100,000 as a result of that Sunday's offering, and the building was built, debt-free.

    I assure you Mary Kay looked to God for everyday guidance in the smallest things. In fact, her business was an answer to prayer -- she had very bad allergic reaction to cosmetics, and instead of God removing her allergies, He directed her to develop hypo-allergenic cosmetics.

    I don't know as much about the company today, except that my daughter just won a Pontiac, to be delivered any day now, and she would not participate in anything that was shady ... period! I always told her she could do anything she set her mind to doing, and she's doing it. Mrs. Ash would be proud!

    People are entitled to their opinions, and the Mary Kay organization is made of people -- and people aren't perfect. However, I can assure you that Mary Kay Ash put God as the head of her business, and that is an undisputable fact as long as there are those of us still alive who knew, respected, and admired Mary Kay Ash.

  10. Dear Mr. Williams, thank you so very much for sharing that personal story of Mary Kay. It is always wonderful reading of actual examples of her kindness. (I am very fortunate that I was able to meet her on a few occassions and had dinner with her once) - great memories to have.


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For (here) (there)
If this is your first visit please leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you!
If you want to email me:
But you are probably better emailing mk4me: