We’re excited to introduce our newest Zenoti Foundation community engagement charity partner - Beauty Bus Foundation!
As a part of our goal to make people feel good so they can find their greatness, the Zenoti Foundation provides support initiatives in three areas covering advocacy, community engagement, and grants & scholarships.
Through our community engagement initiative, the Zenoti Foundation will be supporting Beauty Bus Foundation with their mission to enrich the lives of homeless and chronically or terminally ill individuals and deliver dignity, hope, and respite through beauty and grooming services and pampering products.
We were lucky enough to connect with Cathy Sleva and Amy Strauss from Beauty Bus to learn a little more about the journey over the last decade...
1. Beauty Bus was founded for such a wonderful reason, tell us about it!
Beauty Bus was founded in memory of Melissa Marantz Nealy, whose life was cut short at the young age of 28 by a degenerative neuromuscular disease. Melissa became homebound as her disease progressed so, in an effort to lift her spirits, her family arranged for in-home haircuts, manicures, and facials.
Melissa said these treatments made her feel "human again."
The impact on Melissa's emotional well-being was profound. She felt nurtured by the beauty professionals who provided a momentary escape from her disease. Melissa’s family founded Beauty Bus Foundation in 2009 to offer this same experience of dignity, hope, and respite to other families when they need it most.
In the year that Beauty Bus was founded, we served just 11 people — all in their own homes. Since then, we have expanded our programs to hospitals as well as shelters and social service agencies. We create special events as we take over lounges or conference rooms for Pop-Up Salons. We also launched a Beauty Series where our beauty professionals visit hospitals or social service agencies on a weekly basis to provide beauty services.
2. How has COVID impacted these programs?
Every client we serve is gifted a Bag of Beauty with $150 worth of donated beauty and grooming products. During the pandemic, we had to halt in-person services, but we did not halt our connections to our clients. We launched Beauty Breaks which are online beauty and grooming tutorials. Our beauty professionals conduct Beauty Breaks on Zoom and tailor the information for specific client groups.
Beauty Bus was also proud to gift 5,000 Bags of Beauty to frontline healthcare workers to show our support for the incredible work they are doing.
3. Can you tell us a little more about Beauty Bus Pop-Up Salons?
Pop-Up Salons take place at hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies. Our social service partners include The American Cancer Society, ALS Association, Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, UCLA Health, and many more.
We bring together volunteers who provide numerous services to many in a single afternoon. Clients are offered their choice of service: hair, nails, facial, or makeup application. We even provide glitter tattoos for the kids! Every client we see goes home with a Bag of Beauty filled with donated beauty and grooming products. Our events touch hundreds of individuals each and every month.
4. Why are these events so important?
These events are uplifting, energetic, and fun! They allow clients a break from whatever challenge they are facing in their lives. We give them an opportunity to reconnect with their sense of self. That is the most important goal of the events.
It is through ordinary haircuts or manicures that extraordinary moments of connection are created.
5. What difference do you see the Zenoti Foundation community engagement support making to these events?
As a small nonprofit, our resources are limited and spread pretty thin! The Zenoti Foundation’s support for our programs is crucial to our ability to carry out our mission and to reach more people in need. We are grateful for your support as well as for joining us in the work of lifting up our clients’ dignity and sense of self.
Learn more about Zenoti Foundation community engagement