Celebrating National Volunteer Week: Reflections from Executive Director Louanne Roark

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be sharing stories of this year’s Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award recipients – those who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to the Look Good Feel Better program. We begin this blog series with a post from Louanne Roark, Executive Director of the Look Good Feel Better Foundation.
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By Louanne Roark

In March of 1989, Look Good Feel Better was introduced as an idea to leverage the expertise of the beauty industry to help women living with cancer who were struggling with the devastating appearance side effects of treatment. The concept was to offer education and expert beauty guidance from caring volunteers to help improve a woman’s changed appearance, self-esteem and outlook, and to give her the ability to approach her disease and treatment with greater confidence.

Today, Look Good Feel Better group workshops are led by more than 6,000 dedicated volunteers in more than 2,000 locations across the country. Together, they have helped nearly 1 million women gain confidence and self-esteem that are essential on the road to recovery.

Having witnessed numerous workshops firsthand, I’m always amazed by how caring these volunteers are, creating a safe and comfortable environment for women who can often feel vulnerable, alone and isolated because of their disease. I’ve watched as these women transformed throughout each session… as they shared their experiences and frustrations, and in the process, as they found hope and courage in a community of women on the same journey.

None of this would be possible without our volunteers. Their compassion, kindness and commitment are the heart and soul of this program. They bring hope, courage and confidence to people facing the challenge of a lifetime, and dedicate so much of their personal time to making someone else’s day brighter and more hopeful, and for that, we are so grateful.

To honor the volunteers and their extraordinary dedication, Look Good Feel Better presents the National Sunrise Awards each year to three volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the program and the lives of the women it serves. The award-winning volunteers are nominated by their peers and chosen from a field of candidates from across the country.

This year, I am proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Awards: Rachel Hezlep of Rutledge, Pennsylvania; Barbara Justman of West Bend, Wisconsin; and Imsoon “Kim” Nurss of Fresno, California. On behalf of all of us at Look Good Feel Better, and the many thousands of women helped each year, I thank you for your heartfelt dedication. You are all truly an inspiration and an amazing example of the giving, kind spirit of Look Good Feel Better volunteers everywhere!