Walk a Mile In Her Shoes: Deborah Alessi

Deborah Alessi, founder of Face Forward

Stilettogals, today we'll be discussing a cause that is quite close to my heart as well as meeting the fabulous woman behind it who is working to create a tremendous amount of change for those affected. Beverly Hills' own Deborah Alessi is the founder of Face Forward, a non-profit that assists women and children that have been the victims of violent and disfiguring abuse and crimes with facial surgical reconstructive services.

Hillary Gadsby: Tell me about the mission behind Face Forward and what propelled you to start up the non-profit.

Deborah Alessi: The mission of Face Forward is to provide physical and emotional reconstruction for women and children who have been victimized by domestic or gang related violence. Face Forward vows to provide each victim with the best possible treatment on a pro bono basis. Knowing and personally understanding what these women have been through from past experience and having the drive to help others is what made me want to establish Face Forward. My husband (co-founder David Alessi M.D.) and I set out to help these women with the tools we had to make a difference.

HG: About how much is the average treatment for a victim of physical abuse?

DA: It varies from about 5k – 12k per patient. This does not include the surgery since the surgery is done pro bono. This takes care of therapy, accommodations, travel, medicine, nurses, and transportation.

HG: How does Face Forward work to help aid victims of physical abuse in recovering both physically as well as within their daily lives (i.e. living situation, legal aid, etc.)

DA: Face Forward partners up with various groups and shelters to provide all the women they need for a fresh start to a new life.

Deborah Alessi's stilettos - pretty in pink!

DA: There are various ways to get involved - you can become a board member, committee member, volunteer, donate, sponsor a patient, or attend our annual gala. All of the information needed on getting involved can be found on our website as well as information on our upcoming 4th Annual Gala "A Gatsby Affair" which will be held on Saturday September 28th at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica.

HG: Fill in the blank: my favorite shoes are a pair of _____ because ________.

DA: A pair of Christian Dior because they make me feel like a strong confident women!

For more information Face Forward visit the official website and check them out on Facebook for more updates.


Stilettogals, domestic violence touches each and every one of us in some way. Unfortunately, I have been affected by it before.  Domestic violence starts with emotional abuse and then turns to physical. Each day my loved one grows stronger from such a horrible trauma.  As women, it is our job to stop the hate.   We hold a lot of strength if we fight together.  Please join me in this fight by clicking on the link below to help Face Forward complete its mission in helping to end domestic violence. To donate a $1 to Mother's Day BeCause, click here.