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The Look Good Feel Better Blog

Volunteer Spotlight: Victoria Littlefield, Pittston, Maine
Volunteer Spotlight: Hans Kalset, Metro-DC
Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Howard, Kansas City, Missouri
Celebrating National Volunteer Week: Reflections from Volunteer and PBA National Project Director Linda Whitehurst
Lord & Taylor Charity Day Surpasses Expectations
Look Good Feel Better in Ecuador – Part of LGFB’s 25-year history!

The next volunteer featured in our National Volunteer Week blog series is Victoria Littlefield, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer from Pittston, Maine, who has been recognized with the 2015 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award in the LGFB Certified Volunteer category.

Victoria Littlefield has been a volunteer with the Look Good Feel Better program for more than 26 years, a testament to her long-term dedication and selfless commitment to helping people suffering with cancer. As a volunteer area trainer, she has been a committed, passionate volunteer and leader.  She helps organize and facilitate Look Good Feel Better certification training sessions for new volunteers and group patient workshops. Victoria surpasses the expectations of her duties as Area Trainer, recently joining the local Chamber of Commerce to promote greater awareness of Look Good Feel Better and increasing her networking opportunities with the hope of expanding the program in the future.

We asked Victoria a few questions about her experience with Look Good Feel Better, and here is what she had to say:

Q: What brought you to Look Good Feel Better?

I was first approached by a client of mine who is an oncology nurse, and still actually works with the program today. She asked me if I would be interested in working with a program that was starting up called Look Good Feel Better. I had always been involved in the community, so I immediately knew this would be something I wanted to do. I quickly realized how phenomenal the program is, and have been doing it ever since.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better, and why?

It’s so hard to pick my most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better after volunteering for 26 years and receiving 100s of cards from thankful participants. One of the more recent moments that stands out to me occurred with a younger woman in my class – she was in her 30s. She was having trouble coping with cancer at such a young age, particularly with losing her hair and the changes occurring to her skin. She expressed to me that she even felt uncomfortable around her husband. By the time she was done with the program, and tried on a wig, her disposition had transformed. She said the class went so well for her, and that the wig looked better than her real hair!

She told me, “They say there are angels around us and that we might see an angel one day, but I never thought I would be blessed to look at one in real life. It just makes such a difference to be able to go through the worst point in my life, look in the mirror, and be able to say that I look great. Thank you so much for all you do.”

Q: What is your favorite section of the program? Is there a particular reason?

I am an oncology esthetician, so my specialty really has to do with the skin. That being said, I love the whole program, which is the complete package. I like the comradery that exists between the participants in the class. When they first walk in the room and look at each other, they are all slightly uncomfortable as I try to make them feel welcome. By the end of the program, they’re talking about their life, children, work, and everything in between. All the women have the same common denominator, but during the class they get to focus on themselves. I love the joy of being able to participate with these women who have become a family to me, which is what it’s all about.

Q: Why do you continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, or why would you recommend it to others?

For me it’s the ability to give back. It has been an honor to help when these women are trying hard to keep it all together and like what they see in the mirror. People have thanked me for what I do and what I do with my time so many times. I have received 100s of cards over the years where they all say thanks so much, I say thank you for letting me be a part of your journey! 


If you have a talent and the time, you receive a lot more in return by giving back to others. It has been a privilege to work with these people and help make a difference in their lives.

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We continue our National Volunteer Week blog series by highlighting Hans Kalset, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer from Potomac, Maryland, who has been recognized with the 2015 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award in the PBA-LGFB Certified Volunteer category.

Hans has been a committed Look Good Feel Better program volunteer for 18 years. An active member of the Professional Beauty Association, he currently facilitates more than 18 workshops annually, along with one-on-one consultations, and supports two annual certification trainings for new volunteers. Hans has influenced the lives of women around the country, not only through workshops and trainings, but also through his dedication to raise national awareness for the cause. He has participated in photoshoots, video tapings, and “before-and-after” makeovers for Look Good Feel Better promotional and training materials, as well promoted the program through interviews for the local media. 

We asked Hans a few questions about his experience with Look Good Feel Better, and here is what he had to say:

Q: What brought you to Look Good Feel Better?

Hans: I got married in August ’98 and my father-in-law Eivind was very involved in Look Good Feel Better. Once he introduced me to the program, I was hooked. Within the year I was trained as a volunteer and immediately began dedicating my time to the program and getting more involved. After 18 years, I still love it!

Q: What has been your most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better, and why?

Hans: My most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better is not just one moment; it’s a collection of the moments that happen after the makeover is finished… seeing their reaction to the transformation— the light in the participants’ eyes— as they realize, “Wow, I can do this myself. I can look like this.” It is so rewarding to know that the work you are doing can help these women feel good about themselves, and can encourage them to leave their homes instead of hiding because of their looks.

Q: What is your favorite section of the program? Is there a particular reason?

Hans: My favorite sections of the program are the eyebrows and wigs, because they are always the sections the women are waiting for. These sections lead to that “Aha!” moment. The moment women realize they can draw back their eyebrows or change their look by simply putting on a wig – going from brown to blonde to red, then finally finding the one that makes them feel like their true selves. That’s my favorite part.

Q: Why do you continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, or why would you recommend it to others?

Hans: I continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better because of the women. They love the program and get so much out of it. It makes everything worthwhile for me. I would recommend the program to others because time is the most precious gift. Unfortunately, more and more people will be diagnosed with cancer each year. By understanding how valuable time is and knowing how many people you’re helping, you will feel so rewarded. I’ve enjoyed volunteering for 18 years, and I hope to continue for another 18+ more!


#LGFB #volunteer #National Volunteer Week 

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The second post for our National Volunteer Week blog series features Sharon Howard, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer from Kansas City, Missouri, who has been recognized with the 2015 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award in the General Volunteer category.

A registered nurse, Sharon has been a vital part of the Look Good Feel Better program for four years. As a Survivorship Nurse Navigator and Look Good Feel Better coordinator at St. Luke’s Cancer Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, Sharon has been a devoted promoter and leader for the program. Her enthusiasm and guidance have shaped the program at St. Luke’s Cancer Institute into a program offering monthly workshops that doubled patient participation. She has also been instrumental in expanding the Look Good Feel Better program to an additional St. Luke’s location in Kansas City.

We asked Sharon a few questions about her experience with Look Good Feel Better, and here is what she had to say:

Q: What brought you to Look Good Feel Better?  

Sharon: I was first introduced to the Look Good Feel Better program early on in my Oncology career.  When I began my role five years ago with the Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute, I immediately made it a priority to offer this tremendous program to our patients.

Q: What has been your most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better and why?  

Sharon: My most memorable moment with Look Good Feel Better is participating in the classes, and seeing the change in the women as they find new and exciting ways to look and feel beautiful. Even the most devastating cancers can be forgotten for a few minutes during the sessions.

Q: What is your favorite section of the program? Is there a particular reason?  

Sharon: I have two favorite sections of the program. The first is seeing the looks on the ladies’ faces when they open up their makeup kits and see all the contents of their makeup bags. It is like Christmas! My next favorite section is the positive change you can see in ladies’ countenance from the beginning to the end of the class.

Q: Why do you continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, or why would you recommend it to others?  

Sharon: I continue to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better and would recommend it to others simply because I believe in it. The program makes such a profound difference in the patients’ lives.

#Volunteer #LGFB #Sunrise Awards #National Volunteer Week

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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 Linda Whitehurst, Look Good Feel Better longtime volunteer and one of only 59 volunteer winners of the National Sunrise Award.

Linda has been a Look Good Feel Better volunteer for more than 25 years, and has served in a number of volunteer roles, including workshop facilitator, state coordinator, area trainer and national trainer.  She was previously the owner of the Parasol Hair Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, for 28 years and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she uses her cosmetology skills and years of experience as a hair stylist to cut wigs for cancer patients. Linda is also a member of the PBA, the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons/spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals. She is the PBA Look Good Feel Better national project director and represents the volunteer perspective among the national operations team, which includes the PBA, the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

By Linda Whitehurst

Every year, the Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Awards are given to volunteers who have made extraordinary contributions to the program and to the lives of the women they help. As a former recipient of this prestigious award, I know how dedicated and committed these volunteers must be to the program. I understand that they’ve spent countless hours of their personal time empowering women with cancer to regain the confidence and self-esteem they need to power through their treatment and recovery. And each year, I am repeatedly amazed by their selfless contributions. Giving back is why I volunteer with Look Good Feel Better, and I know that is why they do the same.

I first heard about the Look Good Feel Better program at the 1989 National Cosmetology Association Show in California, shortly after Look Good Feel Better was launched.  There was an article in American Salon that provided information about the opportunities for cosmetologists to become part of this amazing program, helping women with cancer by demonstrating how to camouflage appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, using skin care and makeup products donated by the cosmetic industry, and helping them to use wigs, hats, and scarf-tying techniques to deal with hair loss.  My heartstrings said, “You have to be part of this program!”  I signed up, was certified in 1990, and have been involved ever since.

After working with the program for more than 25 years, one word stands out when describing Look Good Feel Better: confidence.  I see women over and over come into workshops timid, not at all sure they want to be there, and after the two hours are over, the confidence and self-esteem they have gained gives them a radiant glow. I always remember one particular patient who came to a Look Good Feel Better workshop before taking a trip to the islands with her family. When she returned she brought me a poem she wrote about losing her brows to the ocean, but thanks to Look Good Feel Better she had the skills to put them back so no one noticed. 

Stories like this are why I volunteer.  It is so gratifying and keeps my life in perspective, reminding me of what is really important.  And as I look back on my more-than-25 years of service with Look Good Feel Better, I am reminded of all my fellow volunteers, and proud of their hard work, compassion and generosity. I am especially proud of the LookGood Feel Better National Sunrise Award winners who inspire and motivate us to do all that we can to contribute to the wellbeing, confidence and morale of others who are having a difficult time and in need of a caring heart and helping hand. It is an honor to have them as part of the Look Good Feel Better community.

Congratulations to Sharon Howard of Kansas City, Missouri; Hans Kalset of Potomac, Maryland; and Victoria Littlefield of Pittston, Maine.

Earlier this year, Look Good Feel Better corporate partner Lord & Taylor hosted its first all-store Charity Day event with the theme “new year, new you” to benefit Look Good Feel Better. 

This all-day shopping event was held on Saturday, January 16 and featured various activities throughout the day, including 30-minute fitness classes, fashion shows, manicures and a DJ at every store. The event also featured savings passes for purchase, with 100% of proceeds from pass sales benefiting Look Good Feel Better.

For a $5 savings pass, Lord & Taylor customers received two 30%-off single-item coupons and a 20%-off savings pass, including 10% off of cosmetics and fragrances for use the day of event. Additionally, 1% of all LordandTaylor.com proceeds received on January 16also benefited Look Good Feel Better.

The event was also very successful in increasing awareness for the Look Good Feel Better program, with more than 36 million traditional media impressions and 7+ million social media impressions.

We could not have done this without our volunteers’ dedication, enthusiasm and support. More than 120 volunteers came out to support the program and to help sell savings passes. Many of the volunteers took photos throughout the day and posted to social media. You can view some of the photos here.

For more information on this event or to learn how you could support Look Good Feel Better, please visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.

Last week, we introduced you to Look Good Feel Better’s partnership with Fashion Project, an online retailer where your clothing donations and purchases give back to Look Good Feel Better. This week, we want to share a personal story by Paige Smith, Fashion Project Stylist, about Paige’s mother’s experience with the program, as we honor mothers this month.

True confession: I love makeup. It amazes me what a few brush strokes of blush, a little mascara, and a sassy lip color can do to a woman’s appearance and more importantly, her self-esteem. I know that I personally sometimes wake up in the morning resembling the Loch Ness Monster. After some foundation, bronzer, and a little cheek highlighter, I magically transform into a fresh-faced beauty ready to seize the day. Makeup makes me look good and as a result, I feel good.

My mom is to blame for my makeup obsession. At a young age, she taught me to always take the time to look and feel fabulous, even if it entails wearing lipstick while relaxing in a pair of sweats and an oversized t-shirt. Before my mom was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, makeup to me was fun, sometimes necessary, but always relatively superficial. Now its value has forever transformed in my eyes. Today I view it as a way to help women see the light at the end of the tunnel during a time of pain, weakness and insecurity.

Pre-cancer, my mom was a pro at what she likes to call, “putting her face on” and could do so in a short amount of time. As she started her radiation and chemo treatments, her daily process became increasingly longer and more frustrating. She hated how her body reacted to treatments and all of the medications, but refused to look like the frail, weak cancer patient she sometimes felt on the inside. Realizing she needed a little support, my mom quickly introduced herself to Look Good Feel Better, and reawakened her sense of inner and outer beauty.

Look Good Feel Better is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches various beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Through the program, my mom received a variety of makeup and beauty products from designer brands. One of her favorite things from Look Good Feel Better was an eyebrow kit that included stencils, brushes and brow pencils that helped create the perfect fake eyebrow. Not only did my mom’s eyebrows look pristine, but they did not smudge, flake, or melt away!

Women all over the United States have chosen Look Good Feel Better to help them through their battle with breast cancer (as well as many other forms of cancer), all while looking gorgeous at the same time! Approximately 950,000 women suffering from cancer participate in Look Good Feel Better in the United States. Each year, companies affiliated with the Personal Care Products Council donate approximately one million individual products (valued at about $12.5 million).

This wonderful organization gave my mom the strength to kick her cancer in the butt, by simply making her feel beautiful again. At the end of the day, everyone, healthy or sick, is entitled to feel beautiful. I want to personally give Look Good Feel Better a huge thank you for making my mom and myself feel like we can run the world each and every day!

To support Look Good Feel Better’s mission and women, like my mom, click to donate your clothing, shoes and accessories. Together we can make fashion a force for confidence!

-Paige Smith, Fashion Project Stylist

Republished with permission from http://blog.fashionproject.com/why-we-do-it

Look Good Feel Better Week, April 26 – May 2, 2015, has always been a time when we work to create heightened awareness of and support for our program. It is a week that enables us to draw some attention so that we may continue to run our workshops and support women with cancer across the country.  It is a week that empowers us to bolster our efforts to Help Better Begin for those battling cancer.

This year, we partnered with Fashion Project, an online charitable re-commerce and community dedicated to raising funds for charitable organizations.  As part of this community, individuals can donate their gently used, high-quality fashion items to benefit the charity of their choice.  Fashion Project designers build an on-line boutique of donated items for each charitable organization from which shoppers can purchase.  Since its launch in 2012, Fashion Project has collected 298,453 items and raised over $600,000 for 1,886 charities around the world.  

During Look Good Feel Better Week, we created our own boutique and asked our celebrity and corporate friends to help us make a powerful impact for our program and the women we serve in two simple ways:

1.       Donate one or more gently used (or unused) items from their closets to be sold in our exclusive boutique;  and

2.       Reach out to their friends and followers, encouraging them to donate their own items for sale to benefit Look Good Feel Better.

Additionally, we launched a sweepstakes that encourages people to donate their like-new clothing and accessories to our boutique.  Prizes include a lunch date with fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo, a tour of the CMV Atelier, and a dress of  choice from CMV’s current collection.

We encourage everyone to be a part of our efforts. You could:

1.       Donate gently used (or unused), high-quality fashion  items to the Look Good Feel Better boutique;

2.       Purchase products from the Look Good Feel Better boutique to refresh your closet for spring;

3.       Host donation parties within your company or among your circle of friends;

4.       Share our efforts with your followers via corporate and personal social media handles, using the hashtag #HelpBetterBegin; and

5.       Place collection bins around your office to gather products to donate on behalf of the company.  

For more information on how you can creatively support Look Good Feel Better, please contact the Personal Care Products Council Foundation at lookgoodfeelbetter@personalcarecouncil.org.

Look Good Feel Better® is proud to highlight one of the many companies who support our program and help give confidence to women with cancer. Designer handbag company ºCoxyº is a proud supporter of the Look Good Feel Better program. Here is ºCoxyº founder Chiara Rodoni’s story of why she supports the program, in her own words:

On the morning of February 22nd 2012, my Mom, Enrica, passed away after a long fight with cancer. The journey I lived with her, her illness and her agony, has been the most painful part of my life. But at the same time I received a wonderful gift.

I remember taking my mom to the chemo treatments, putting healing music in her ears and reading her stories while she underwent each treatment. I shaved her hair when she started losing it, then took her to choose her wigs, trying the different ones myself and putting on a show in the wig store to make her laugh. I took her to beauty and makeup classes and special healing programs dedicated to women with cancer. I massaged her body with essential oils and did her nails and makeup, even when she was stuck in a bed and couldn’t get up anymore because of her illness. I talked to every doctor I could because I wanted to find the best way to cure her and make her feel that she would never be alone in her fight. I knew that the disease was burning her from the inside. But I also knew that everything I was doing was making her feel happy, beautiful and loved.

The ºCoxyº project wouldn’t exist today without the help of my mom. She was my greatest fan. She taught me to put love in everything I do, to believe in myself and pursue my passion and my dreams. Her life was one of the most wonderful gifts of love I’ve ever had and now, I want to give this love back. 

When I started picturing and designing one handbag, there was a deep inner voice that was telling me that I had to reconnect with myself as a woman. I started thinking about all the women I’ve met in my life, beginning with the one that I loved the most, my Mom. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to create a bag that could talk about the beauty of being a woman.

That was a big challenge; how could I possibly put all those things into a handbag? So, I asked myself: what is the most beautiful thing about a woman? Suddenly I had a clear answer.

Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Rien n’est plus beau qu’un corp nu, le plus beau vêtement que puisse habiller une femme ce sont les bras de l’homme qu’elle aime.” (“Nothing is more beautiful than a naked body. The most beautiful dress a woman can wear are the arms of the man she loves.”)

That was it! My bag had to be that body: beautiful and sensual, confident and charismatic. I grabbed my colors immediately and started tracing the shapes of the ºCoxyº bag, a handbag that evokes the powerful shape of a woman’s body.

Every time a handbag is purchased from ºCoxyº, a contribution is made to Look Good Feel Better to benefit women diagnosed with cancer, helping them to take back their lives, their power and their beauty, during and after their illness.

BIO

Chiara Rodoni was born in Milan and raised in Milan and Paris. She began working in the fashion industry when she was still in high school, and in 2003, she graduated in Fashion Design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan. Her graduation project, inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s couture, immediately caught the attention of top designers. She began her fashion career working as a designer for international luxury brands, including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferré, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Prada and Ralph Lauren. Gianfranco Ferré mentored Chiara himself, inspiring her with his ability to create unique collections that mix fashion with architecture and design. She has designed ‘ready to wear’, accessories, handbags and footwear. In 2013 Chiara moved to the USA, creating and launching her ºCoxyº brand.  She currently lives and works as a designer and creative consultant in Los Angeles.

By Giselle Segovia

As the coordinator of social responsibility of CANIPEC, Mexico’s National Cosmetic Products Industry Trade Association, I have had the enormous pleasure of seeing Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) blossom in Mexico. The program has just completed its first year and is growing fast.  It feels like it was only yesterday when LGFB was launched, so young and promising. Today LGFB is well on its way to a thriving program.

Having the chance of being part of this program is deeply rewarding.  After completing the workshop, the look on the faces of the patients is one of confidence and excitement. Their mood has changed from gloomy to sunny.

 The Mexican LGFB program started humbly and gained momentum throughout the year. Many companies jumped on board and the number of patients at the workshops increased significantly. To date, we have served 166 women in 2014.  Due to the increase in attendance, we will now be offering two LGFB workshops per month in participating hospitals.  

On behalf of CANIPEC I would like to thank the U.S. LGFB team for making this amazing program possible, for allowing us to bring a little sunshine to the lives of women cancer patients, for supporting us and sharing your knowledge which has helped us indescribably to grow the program as we have. While we have a lot to learn we feel that we are on the right track.

Once again, thank you for blessing us with the ability to help women cancer patients in Mexico. It is indeed one of the highest gifts a human being can possess. CANIPEC wishes you all an excellent 2015!

Look Good Feel Better is a program that positively transforms the spirit of the people who have the good fortune to participate. Each year more people are benefitting from this wonderful program. Our very long 2015 “waiting list” is a testament to our growing program.

Patients attending LGFB in Ecuador say that they experience more self-worth, hope and enthusiasm towards life after having attended our program.  After a LGFB workshop and seeing themselves “look good,” the patients feel a lot better about themselves.

In 2011, with great enthusiasm, we took the first steps to launch LGFB in Ecuador. Initially, hospitals in Ecuador were hesitant to host LGFB as they did not know what the program was about. After seeing the results and how happy the patients were after the workshops, they became enthusiastic and opened their doors to the program.   

In Ecuador, LGFB is offered to both men and women. Since the program began  three years ago, we have seen more than 2,000 people recover their smiles, self-esteem and sense of hope. As LGFB leaders and volunteers, we too have enriched our spirit and have become passionate about returning the smiles to those patients who have lost them. We are happy to do what we do.

 LGFB’s 25th anniversary has touched the hearts of many people from all corners of the world. Today we celebrate an idea from people who, 25 years ago, dreamed of helping people with cancer through our industry. That dream is now a reality and it continues to grow throughout the world, capturing the hearts of those of us who are part of the program:  companies, volunteers - and our reason for being - our dear program participants. Returning the smile and sense of hope to our them is our dream.  

      

                                Participants in our first program 

         

                 Paty Flores, our first model at our first LGFB workshop

                                   Men’s program workshop

Our Mission

Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer.

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