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Stacey Ellis, Beauty Professional




     Stacey Ellis, is a successful owner of her own salon, Ellis Salon. With 18 years of  experience as a hairstylist and makeup artist, she has provided her skills as a  Beauty Professional at the foundation and has  helped made our clients feel as special as they  are. 

“All I need is that smile from ear to ear at the end and I know my job is done.”

Q: How did you hear about Beauty Bus Foundation?

A: I saw Beauty Bus on the show, Secret Millionaire and my salon owner at that time had been to an event and told us about it in a staff meeting. I was hooked!

Q: How long have you been with the foundation?

A: About 4 years. I offer hair and makeup services.

Q: What inspired you to volunteer?

A: Like too many people, I lost a dear friend to cancer at 21 years of age in which I understand the importance of giving that loved one a little day to day normality. Feeling beautiful on the outside may only be a temporary relief from how they are feeling inside, but it’s a relief and a distraction at the same time. Over the years, I have also helped clients of my own going through treatments with home haircuts and other services so I felt I would be able to help at Beauty Bus.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue cosmetology?

A: I was interested in hair, makeup and fashion as a teenager so my parents encouraged me to pursue something creative. I left high school and went straight to hair school, and then makeup school at the age of 17.

Q: What was your first  In-Home Visit or Pop-Up Salon like?

A: There have been so many, that I can’t really remember the first ever visit, it’s all a blur of smiling faces. I tend to go in happy and up beat and everyone seems so happy to see the Beauty Bus team. They are always so grateful and you can see that it’s a great distraction for them, we always have a wonderful time!

Q: Is there something you walk away with from these visits and Pop-ups?

A: It’s just like when I do someone’s hair or makeup in the salon and see how pleased they are, it’s just as rewarding to see that on the In-Home Visits or Pop-ups, also.

Q: Has volunteering for Beauty Bus Foundation changed your perspective on beauty? 

A: No, not really. I treat everyone the same when it comes to what I do. I see past [the] illness and wheel chairs and look straight to the people which is why I do this. All I need to see is that smile from ear to ear at the end and I know my job is done.

5 Tips for Thinning Hair from Bosley’s Director of Education, Michelle Blaisure

Our friends at Bosley Professional Strength are sponsoring our City of Hope Pop-Up Salon on Aug. 18. To learn more about what we can all do for thinning hair, we went to the expert, Michelle Blaisure, Bosley Professional Strength’s Director of Education.




  1. Shampoo with a product specifically designed for thinning hair.

  2. Use volumizing products that are weight free, provide thickness and fullness to the hair.

  3. Apply a leave-in treatment to keep quality and health of the scalp.

  4. Utilize a hair fiber to camouflage the thin areas on the crown or top of the head.

  5. Lastly, maintain with intensive strengthening conditioner at least once a week.


Michelle  is affiliated with the hair care organization known to be “the world’s most experienced hair restoration expert” since 2009. As the director of education at Bosley Professional Strength, it is her role to write the curriculum and presentations for the products, as well as training new employees at the foundation. Before BosleyPro, she earned her license as a hair stylist at just eighteen years of age. As a certified Trichologist, biology of hair and scalp is her passion and she has benefited us with five tips for thinning hair.

Q: What do you thrive upon most working at BosleyPro?

A: It is my passion for the hair loss category and we offer the flexibility to share information about hair loss and work with distributors worldwide.

Q: What interested you in getting involved with Beauty Bus Foundation?

A: My mother had breast cancer and I know what a devastating illness or disease it is to experience. As a hair stylist, I know how important it is to go through this and I think the Beauty Bus Foundation is a great opportunity to have the experience of feeling good, as well for the caregiver while they are going through these difficult times.

Beauty Buddy: Martha Carrillo

Martha Carrillo is one of our beloved beauty buddies and she finds volunteering with the foundation rewarding. Here she is with her dog, Coco.



Q: How did you get involved with Beauty Bus?

A: I was looking for volunteer opportunities online, and I found Beauty Bus. I am in the beauty industry as well where I do book keeping for a company that sells beauty products and this just worked out for me.

Q: What inspired you to generally volunteer?

A: I was looking for something to do with my free time and this became really rewarding. I am really busy but it’s a good experience and is very rewarding.

Q: What are your roles at BBF?

A: I do office work, events and home visits.

Q: What was your first visit like?

A: My first visit was the hardest of all because it was in hospice care. The client’s caregiver told us she only had a couple of weeks left and the client was in a state of denial, depression and couldn’t talk. It was very hard, but it was a significant experience. After that visit, the clients were happy and talkative.

Q: What do you like most about volunteering with BBF?

A: It’s the experience and the feeling of giving back.

Q: How has volunteering with BBF affected your life?

A: Sometimes I change my plans and do things to go and help when I get an email from BBF. When I see someone whom is ill, I see them differently. They are still full of life.

Q: Has BBF changed your perspective on beauty?

A: The industry all about perfection and now I see the human side and its deeper side where it’s about making someone feel good about themselves. With BBF you see a true effect on the person. It doesn’t feel like a job, but I can see a better side of my job.

Say hello to our new Beauty Bus team member!



“The Beauty Bus is an incredible organization, that is able to bring joy to people going through the most difficult time in their lives.  For me, personally, it is the perfect blend of two passions, and I am honored to be a part of the team!”

Amanda Batts,  Community Outreach and Events Manager

Amanda comes to the Beauty Bus with a unique combination of experience in both the nonprofit and cosmetology industries.  After graduating from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology , Amanda gained several years of experience overseeing the volunteer program for a nonprofit organization that helps families transition out of homelessness. In 2011, she decided to pursue a lifelong interest in Cosmetology, and became a hair stylist.

After working in the cosmetology industry  for three years, Amanda decided to combine her love for the beauty industry, with her passion for helping others, and has joined the Beauty Bus as our Community Outreach and Events Manager.

“Amanda’s passion, energy and enthusiasm to help our clients was evident and her inspirational character and perseverance to succeed made her the perfect candidate for this position.  I know you will join me in welcoming Amanda Batts to the Beauty Bus team!” added Ronda Wilkin, CEO

Contact Amanda Batts:
Phone: (310)392-0900

Highlights from No Worries Now Prom 2014

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?

D: “No.”

J: If not, how many times have you volunteered in the past?

D: “I also volunteered last year.”

J: What services did you provide for the event?

D: “Makeup”

J: What did you enjoy the most about volunteering at the event?

D: “Meeting the clients and hearing their stories and sharing it in their excitement.”


J: Did anything stand out to you?
D: “How well run the event was.”

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.”

Importance of Caregiver Respite Services

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.

Volunteer Program Recognition Event 2013

(L-R) Maggie Smith, Dan Rosenson, Alicia Liotta, Jaclyn Clifford, kim Hudson, Erika Garibay, Jenn Mangali, Elizabeth Weeks, Letrice Lopez, Maria Dellacave
(L-R) Maggie Smith, Dan Rosenson, Alicia Liotta, Jaclyn Clifford, kim Hudson, Erika Garibay, Jenn Mangali, Elizabeth Weeks, Letrice Lopez, Maria Dellacave

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 Award Winners

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.

2013 Volunteer of the Year, Letrice Lopez
2013 Volunteer of the Year, Letrice Lopez

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.

2013 Buddy of the Year,<br />Patti Amaral
2013 Buddy of the Year,
Patti Amaral

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.


2013 School of the Year,<br />Paul Mitchell The School,<br />Sherman Oaks<br />Maria Dellacave
2013 School of the Year,
Paul Mitchell The School,
Sherman Oaks
Maria Dellacave

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 Ambassador<br />of the Year,<br />Kim Hudson
2013 Ambassador
of the Year,
Kim Hudson

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<br />Award Winner,<br />Maggie Smith
2013 Barbara’s Butterflies
Award Winner,
Maggie Smith


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.

A Beautiful Volunteer Opportunity

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:

  • Beauty Professional Volunteers deliver needed services for people that cannot access the specific services on their own — in-home clients appreciate the small boost that can be provided with a new hair style, the hair lifted off their neck after a fresh cut, a bright spot of color on their nails, the cleanliness of post-pedicure feet, the power of touch through a facial or seeing themselves again for the first time with a made-up face.
  • Beauty Professional Volunteers are offered an opportunity to practice their technical skills and interpersonal communication – two keys to a successful career in any field.
  • Beauty Professional and Beauty Buddy Volunteers keep clients and their caregivers connected to normalcy and the outside world – the freedom of the old routine missed since becoming home bound or exchanged for hospital visits.
  • Beauty Professional and Beauty Buddy Volunteers connect, build, support, engage and strengthen relationships with our clients who do the same in return. Many of our volunteers and clients form bonds through their time spent together in the clients’ home, and professionals are regularly requested to return.
  • Beauty Professional Volunteers not only gain regular clients, but can receive compensation for their time. A reduced rate for each service is offered to any licensed Beauty Professional and can be a nice compliment to income.
  • Volunteers contribute directly to their communities – whether a Beauty Professional or Buddy, our volunteers have a face-to-face interaction with clients, and can be assured that each moment spent together is a moment that positively impacts that client and caregiver’s life, as well as the volunteers.
  • Volunteers educate the public on the benefits of in-home beauty and grooming treatments – feeling good about oneself can work wonders on motivation and every day energy – and engage other potential volunteers to see what difference they can make. Why wouldn’t you share the things you love with the people in your life? Group volunteering can be fun, satisfying and bonding for everyone involved.
  • Volunteers assist in moving the organization forward – from organizing donated product to putting together Bags of Beauty to send out to clients living in other states to brainstorming new ways to help clients get the most out of Beauty Bus services, extra hands are always welcomed. Being a part of the growth of an organization can strengthen resolve, resumes and dedication to future tasks – all attributes of a positive volunteer experience.

Consider the difference you could be making… Consider the difference your beauty professional could be making…

Next time you visit the salon, get your nails done or stop by the makeup counter at the mall, consider asking how this person might be able to make a difference in the life of someone who cannot come to them. Consider the difference he/she would be making in their own life.

Encourage your beauty professional to join Beauty Bus and assist us in bringing beauty home to the many people who deserve to look and feel beautiful in this time of need.

Unseen Statistics on Caregiving

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

SMA & Children Living with Illness

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.