Volunteer and PBA National Project Director Linda Whitehurst Reflects on 25 Years of Volunteer Service

This year, Look Good Feel Better is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, and in celebration of this milestone we have been reflecting on what makes our program a success.  Look Good Feel Better simply wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers all over the United States.  Throughout the year, we will be highlighting some of the volunteers that have worked with Look Good Feel Better from the beginning, and  we are proud to have Linda Whitehurst as our first featured volunteer.

Linda has been a Look Good Feel Better volunteer for 25 years, and has served in a number of volunteer roles, including workshop facilitator, state coordinator, area trainer and national trainer.  She is the owner of the Parasol Hair Studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been working as a licensed beauty professional for over 35 years,  Linda is also a member of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), a national organization with members that include salons, spas, distributors, manufacturers and more than 25,000 beauty professionals.  She is the PBA LGFB national project director and represents the volunteer perspective among the national operations staff from PBA, PCPCF, and ACS.

I first heard about the Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) program at the 1989 National Cosmetology Association Show in California, shortly after LGFB 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 since then.  I now regularly volunteer once a month at Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, andI also fill in at Buddy Kemp Support Center at Presbyterian Hospital as needed.  Soon I will also be volunteering at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

After working with the program for nearly 25 years, one word stands out when describing LGFB: 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 this one patient that came to an LGFB 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 LGFB 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.  We all need to find our passion to “give back,“ and LGFB is a program that makes me feel I am making a difference on many levels, but, the most important is every woman I touch in my patient workshops.