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Beauty Bus joined hands with No Worries Now Prom event held on June 12, 2014. No Worries Now Prom is an annual charity prom held for teens living with chronic and terminal illnesses and the nonprofit organizes it to be a special night for them to remember. BBF worked their magic on these lovely teens and provided pop-up salons for people to get ready with hair and make-up services done by our Beauty Professionals. For this event, social media intern, Julie was able to conduct quick interviews of our amazing Beauty Professionals and Beauty Buddies to show the magic behind the scenes.
Dianna, Beauty Bus Professional
J: Is this the first time you had volunteered at a No Worries Now Prom event?
J: If not, how many times have you volunteered in the past?
J: What services did you provide for the event?
J: What did you enjoy the most about volunteering at the event?
J: Do you have any positive comments/testimonials about the Beauty Bus Foundation and our mission?
D: “I feel honored that I am able to work with such an amazing organization that helps make people feel their best.”
Being a caregiver is a big emotional roller coaster. Finding respite services for family caregivers can be challenging, when much of a caregiver’s time is focused on caring for their loved one. The relief a caregiver receives from respite services is of great importance. The story below comes from our client, Jennifer*, who reflects on caregiver relief services and their impact on her well being.
Before my mom got sick, I was a dental assistant, married and a stay at home mom. I volunteered at my kids’ school as a teacher’s assistant. As time passed, and even though I had divorced and the kids were all grown up, I was still very social and loved to work. When mom started getting sick, my siblings decided that I was the best choice to care for her; they said I had the most time. Everyone started to really count on me, and I had to put my life on hold. I had plans to go back to school to be a teacher, but once my mom got sick I didn’t have the energy. If it wasn’t me, who else would take care of my mom?
As you’ll read below, Jennifer’s role as a caregiver began to alter her ability to engage in the same type of lifestyle she had before caring for her mother. At this crucial moment, respite care relief becomes necessary for family caregivers. The importance of respite for caregivers may not be as apparent or even seem like a need to be filled.
I resented my role for a long time – I remember specifically not being able to join my family on group camping trips or if I want to go out for dinner, I needed to do it after my mom had gone to bed. And our relationship changed, too. My mom has always been a very private person, a dignified woman. She never allowed us to see her undone – she always went to another room to change. When she began to get progressively more ill, she needed to be bathed and taken to the bathroom. It was embarrassing for both of us. That was hardest part and I wished I didn’t have to do it. Sometimes I’d get mad at my situation, but I had to really control myself. I wanted to leave so many times.
Being a family caregiver can get overwhelming quickly, especially if taking care of an ailing parent. Respite services for caregivers can be overlook – it’s not the caregiver that is ill, so how can relief services hold so much importance?
As the main caregiver for my mom, I am so grateful when someone is able to take the responsibility off of me. It is so nice to have a Beauty Bus visit and give mom a haircut. It’s not easy to take my mom anywhere because the wheel chair is very heavy and any hot weather is bad for her. Having the professionals and buddies come to the home is so great for us – my mom loves the services! She still wants to feel like a woman – I still dye her hair – and maintain her vanity. That extra touch makes her feel good, not to mention me! Getting my hair done brought me such happiness; I hadn’t had my hair cut it in a year! Looking forward to that made me and my mom feel normal again.
Family caregivers are providing such a special gift and need respite care and relief from the self-sacrificing role they’ve taken on. Caregiver relief services are integral to being an able and loving care provider.
And although it’s been hard, caring for my mother has brought us closer. I have been able to manage, and have realized it’s a blessing to take care of my parent. Her illness has brought our family closer together – everyone comes to house because mom does not want to go out in her wheelchair. We are taking it one day at a time, making each day a good day.
Assist us in continuing to provide respite care services to our clients and their caregivers. Donate today to the Bringing Beauty Home Fund and make an important difference for clients like Jennifer
*Name has been changed to protect our clients. Narrative adapted from interview with Jennifer.
Every year Beauty Bus Foundation recognizes the best beauty volunteers in Los Angeles – our volunteers who give their time, talent and dedication to our clients and their caregivers. To provide beauty services throughout Los Angeles and surrounding counties to clients who often cannot leave their homes to travel to salons or spas is a special gift to Beauty Bus’ volunteer program. The gift given by our beauty volunteers not only comes through beauty services, it also is seen in our buddies and ambassadors – beautiful volunteers who show their passion through companionship and assistance both In-Home and at events in Los Angeles. Many of our recognized volunteers bring our mission into their neighborhoods, schools and education programs. We are so grateful to have such wonderful people throughout Los Angeles as part of our volunteer program.
2013 Volunteer of the Year – The Melissa Award: Given to the Beauty Bus volunteer who most embodies the spirit of the Beauty Bus Foundation, founded in memory of Melissa Marantz Nealy. Melissa was a spunky red-head who lit up a room and loved a good day at the spa. Melissa Award recipients bring the same passion to Beauty Bus that Melissa brought to living every day to the fullest.
Letrice Lopez: Letrice has been a beauty volunteer with Beauty Bus since the beginning – she joined our volunteer program as a nail tech in August 2010 – and is one of our longest running Beauty Professional volunteers. This year Letrice has been the Beauty Professional on 88 visits in Los Angeles! Additionally Letrice volunteers at Pop-Up Salons, comes into the office, helps with Beauty Drive and is our go-to person when we have questions about nail services. Letrice is patient and flexible with our client base. Working with patients who shake uncontrollably to those who have clenched fists, Letrice brings a relaxed element which results in beautifully polished nails. Letrice embraces the spirit of Beauty Bus and we are humbled by her continued dedication to our clients.
The 2013 Rosenson Family Beauty Buddy of the Year: Given to the non-beauty professional who attends home visits, Pop-Up Salons and events, and does so with passion and compassion for Beauty Bus’ clients.
Patti Amaral: Patti has been part of our volunteer program since March 2011. She came to us through the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center. Patti volunteers in the office, sits on the Beauty Drive committee and acts as Beauty Buddy on numerous in-home visits throughout Los Angeles. This calendar year alone Patti has been the Beauty Buddy for 83 visits – an average of 8 visits a month! We get special requests for Patti from our clients all the time because she brings such a light and lift to their lives. Patti has a friendly presence and ability to talk to everyone, representing the beauty in our volunteer program. We are so grateful to her as part of the Beauty Bus family.
The 2013 Aloxxi Salon/School of the Year: Given to the salon or school that has provided unique support to the Beauty Bus Foundation throughout the year.
Paul Mitchell The School- Sherman Oaks: Paul Mitchell The School – Sherman Oaks has signed up to volunteer with Beauty Bus at numerous events such as the Ronald McDonald House and No Worries Now Prom, providing a number of student beauty volunteers. The students from Paul Mitchell Sherman Oaks are professional, compassionate and kind to anyone who sits down to get a service. The method of teaching, the curriculum and the staff at PMTS are doing something right to develop such wonderful future beauty professionals. Even our licensed beauty professional volunteers have noticed how composed the students are with our clients. They are open and willing to help out where needed. We look forward to working with PMTS’s future beauty professionals on many more events!
2013 Beauty Ambassador of the Year: Given to the Beauty Bus volunteer who is a bold representative of the Beauty Bus Foundation in his/her everyday life. The Beauty Ambassador assists the foundation in thriving by using their unique talents to help sustain and promote the growth of Beauty Bus.
Kim Hudson: Kim has been an amazing addition to the Beauty Bus volunteer program and team. She is a compassionate individual who joined our volunteer program in November 2011. Although she’s done a little bit of everything, what stands out most is how she helped transform our volunteer training. Kim worked with program staff to refine and help lead the second half of the training covering the diseases that we serve, how to communicate with our clients and what to expect on visits throughout Los Angeles. Kim’s enthusiasm for helping others has positively impacted Beauty Bus.
2013 Barbara’s Butterflies – Kids Award: Given to young people who have contributed to the work of Beauty Bus and shared our mission in their community. These awards are presented in memory of Barbara Bresnan by her daughters, Mary and Maureen.
Maggie Smith (pictured): Maggie chose Beauty Bus Foundation as her Bat Mitzvah project this year. She came into the office to prepare packets for volunteer training and held a product drive at her house. We are grateful to Maggie for selecting Beauty Bus as her charity!
Carly Ackerman-Canning: Carly has been volunteering with Beauty Bus for the last few years. This year she volunteered at Beauty Drive and took on multiple in–home projects. As she prepares for life in college, we look forward to Carly’s future with Beauty Bus!
Sydney Walley: Sydney chose Beauty Bus as her Bat Mitzvah charity last year and took initiative with another product drive this year to benefit our clients!
2013 Richard and Roberta Marantz Family Beauty Professional of the Year: Given to the volunteer Beauty Professional who shares his or her talent at home visits, Pop-Up Salons and events, and does so with passion and compassion for Beauty Bus’ clients.
Stacey Ellis: Stacey joined the beauty volunteer program as a hair stylist with Beauty Bus in May 2011. She learned about Beauty Bus through her boss Natasha who is friends with Ann Mincey, our 2011 Beauty Drive Honoree. Stacey has gone on 18 visits in Los Angeles this year alone. She has a kind, compassionate touch with our clients and we are grateful for her service.
Are you or someone you know the type of beauty professional who wants to make a difference in the life of a person with terminal or chronic illness? The type who wants to make a difference in your own life?
Refer your beauty professional, share your passion for the organization, and call us to connect. We want to make a difference with you!
Beauty Bus Volunteers bring a big impact on the well-being of our clients and caregivers. So many of our clients’ mobility is based on assistance – walkers, wheel chairs, or mobile devices that also function as units for speaking. To make an appointment in a salon, prepare for the outing, get to the location and navigate through tight quarters in between inaccessible chairs or doorways can take all the excitement out of a day of beauty. Then there are clients in the midst of receiving treatments for a condition that takes all the strength and motivation one can muster, and even thinking about getting to the salon becomes a non-priority.
With all these obstacles, clients never give up their personal desire to feel good about themselves, even when the timing may not be right for a manicure or facial or even a much needed haircut. Think of all the ways that an in-home Beauty Professional and Beauty Buddy volunteer can ease the difficulties of managing these obstacles and make a real difference in the every day life of a Beauty Bus client, while creating a benefit for themselves:
More than 34 million unpaid caregivers provide care to someone age 18 and older who is ill or has a disability – the majority (83%) being family caregivers or friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative. Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%). More than half (51%) said they do not have time to take care of themselves and almost half (49%) said they are too tired to do so. With such a large population of people in the country caring for a loved one, you may be reading this and seeing yourself in these statistics. For one of our client’s caregivers, the statistics tell her story as well. But what about the good? These numbers haven’t touched on the beauty of caring for another. What are the benefits of becoming a caregiver, giving up a bit of your life to make another life full of quality and joy?
Shelley had been a caregiver for some time before her elderly mother passed away, and with an ending marriage on the horizon, it was time for Shelley to move on to a new life. She began to look for a new place to live, finding an ad for a roommate that seemed like a great fit. Shelley and James hit it off, and agreed to become roommates.
Two days before Shelley moved in, James suffered a stroke. Because of her situation, the agreement to live at James’ house, and her familiarity with basic medical care procedures, Shelley agreed to take care of James. What was simply a place to live, had turned into a new, albeit familiar, role – taking care of another person. Shelley embraced her new role as caregiver.
“James seems to be very calm and cool about life. He does not panic; he is a “let it be” kind of person, and despite his condition, is almost never stressed. He handles stressful situations differently than most people.”
As a result of being James’ caregiver, Shelley’s respect for the elderly has deepened and she has taken the opportunity to learn from James.
“Taking care of James has been great but the toughest part was when someone else moved into the house with us, and I had to adjust to living with this new person. It was tough because on top of all the responsibilities I had for James and myself, I now have someone else that I’m looking after as well.”
Shelley has taken from James a lesson in letting things go and not complaining as much. The experience has also taught her how to be more disciplined, thinking through what she wants to say more carefully in order to best convey what she wants to express. Shelley says she now goes the extra mile for other people when she wouldn’t have before. She is more compassionate and does more things out of love.
As a caregiver, what are the unseen benefits you experience? How has your life changed, for the better, through your attention and care towards another who cannot care for himself?
~Co-authored by Darcey Nourayi, Intern
August’s awareness focuses on Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a condition that affects about 4 in every 100,000 people – mostly infants and children. With three differing types of progressive SMA, the lifespan of an affected child can range from 2-3 years to early adulthood. Regardless of the onset, little muscle tone, weakness and feeding and breathing problems are apparent in all types of SMA. Although these symptoms limit a growing child to a stationary life, young boys and girls living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy have the same need for love, emotional support, and activities that provide engagement and community.
Nora, a young girl with SMA, is a fun example of a young child with SMA interacting with her therapist as she practices the words and expressions of emotion. What’s so beautiful about this moment is Nora’s keen sense of play as she shapes her face to mimic the emotion she is learning. It is apparent that Nora is only limited in her ability to move, not her ability to communicate and enjoy the lesson.
Children and young adults who face limited physical and communicative abilities benefit from a community that allows them to share their needs directly, as best they can. As a young teen with SMA, Beauty Bus client Courtney loves receiving
The need to belong, engage, make choices, and be noticed are strong motivating factors for young people and the forming of self esteem, and help Courtney and others living with SMA to retain a sense of self.
Children and young adults with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, although living a physically limited lifestyle, have a core need for engagement and communication. As part of their community, it is our job to recognize this need and participate with them in their growth.
Having ALS is an expected death sentence. From diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 2-5 years. 2-5 years.
What would you do with 5 years to live? With 2? And that’s not taking into account what you COULD do.
One of our female clients, Debbie, is 42 and living with ALS. We met her for the first time in November of 2012 for a haircut visit. With advanced stage ALS, Debbie sits in a wheelchair, communicates with slurred speech, and offers her company a bubbly and sweet disposition that would put anyone in a good mood upon meeting. She is always happy to have people in her home and looks forward to her in-home visits.
Imagine communicating your needs via computer, every word created by your eye movement from letter to letter. A practice in patience, indeed, as wit, charm and love are communicated by a robotic voice unfamiliar from your own. Contrary to the affects on the physical body, a person living with ALS has full control over their cognition, memory and ability to communicate however limited. The journey through this disease is not an easy one – countless stories float the internet gracefully detailing the trip beginning to end.
So, what would you do if you COULD with 2-5 years left to live?
In early 2013, Debbie scheduled her second in-home visit yet had to cancel due to hospitalization, a common occurrence for our clients as their needs are always changing and immediate medical attention is often necessary. Two months passed and we had heard no word from Debbie about rescheduling.
When staff contacted Debbie’s family at home, we learned that she would be returning from the hospital the next day and had verbalized her strong desire to get pampered right away. It is the first thing she wants to do, her mother told us. All services possible, she said. As soon as possible, she emphasizes. We were happy to oblige, but due to the busy schedules of our volunteers – who not only offer their limited free time, but often work a full schedule as well – we were only able to provide services one full month later.
Here in lies the dilemma: Nothing is guaranteed, our days are short, and our clients want to live a life as big as possible. How do we help to make our clients’ lives everything it could be, while they navigate the things that cannot be control? It’s an all too familiar desire.
Our clients rely on us to assist them in their big lives; to live a beautiful life full of every possibility imagined, which they may not be able to fulfill on their own. Our organization relies on volunteers – you – to assist us in our big mission. Beauty professionals offer an opportunity for all of us to feel pampered, and, for our clients, an additional opportunity to ignore their illness and embrace their beauty as they fight the challenges of disease.
Make your life big, so that our clients can live big, too. Join our team; become a volunteer. Allow our clients to feel beautiful in their own skin, their own home, in the moments after they’ve spent two months in the hospital braving the challenges of terminal illness. We need you, as much as our clients need you to make our mission complete. Do not wait. We are looking for hairstylists, nail techs, estheticians, cosmetologists and barbers to provide the generous lift and gift of beauty, of normalcy, to our waiting clients who only want to feel like themselves before they became ill.
So, how big will you make your life? So big that you make another life that much bigger? How long are you willing to wait?
When one member of a family is terminally or chronically ill, especially a child, the whole family is affected – unexpected stress and finding a balance to meet everyone’s needs can be a big challenge.
For many siblings of children receiving treatment for terminal or chronic illness, being a child and being a caregiver is difficult and confusing. The role of caregiver can be overwhelming and an emotional strain for a young child or teen who shares a special bond with their sibling.
While each child yearns for normalcy, healthy siblings may suppress their need for individualized attention, lacking the maturity to express their needs. Although the tendency to focus attention on the ill child is normal, parents, too, must find a balance to provide the needed care for their ill child while also providing support for the entire family.
This June 24th, Sephora, Rancho Cucamonga, offered a strong presence with Beauty Bus Foundation at Loma Linda’s Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Clinic for Siblings Week – a week dedicated to supporting the caring siblings of children receiving treatment.
Through Sephora’s VIO Values Inside Out program, volunteers from the Rancho Cucamonga store and surrounding community participated at a Pop-Up Salon to provide makeup application, face painting, glimmer tattoos and haircuts to the families at the Loma Linda clinic.
During Monday’s event, healthy children visiting the clinic with their siblings were able to share in a bit of special attention and pampering through the caring touch of our volunteers. Mothers and children receiving treatment also shared in the fun, making an appointment for a new haircut, a coat of lipstick or a painted butterfly across the face. The bonding time was gift for all members of the family – a feeling of balance and having the focus on each most important person allowed stress to just melt away.
Everyone’s smile shone so brightly by the end of the event!
Dear Candace and Beauty Bus,
My husband lays sleeping on the living room sofa with a Beauty Bus smile on his face. A stupid person said you can’t repeat a good time – we say you can not only repeat it… you can surpass it! Impossible, no! But it takes a Lulu, a Patti and a Beauty Bus to make it happen.
As we anoint our bodies in precious oils, shimmer tubes and tropical dew Stan and I thank you for a new look – inside and out; your kindness and generosity is remembered not only for this day, but all month.
Best, Stan and Joanne
A little note, like a passing butterfly fluttering through the air, can change the way you see the world around you, if only for a short moment. Small, delicate, beautiful and so very remarkable. Thank you to all our volunteers for allowing our clients to see their world through your gifts. With a small gesture you have impacted the world.