Volunteer Spotlight: Katherine Martin, Champlin, Minnesota

We continue our National Volunteer Week blog series by highlighting Katherine Martin, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer from Champlin, Minnesota, who has been recognized with the 2017 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award in the PBA-Certified Volunteer category.

Katherine Martin of Champlin, MN is a recipient of the 2017 Look Good Feel Better National Sunrise Award.

Katherine Martin has been a dedicated Look Good Feel Better program volunteer for 10 years. A professional cosmetologist and a member of the Professional Beauty Association, Katherine was inspired to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better when several of her clients were diagnosed with various types of cancer. She recalls they were frightened and they did not know what to expect regarding their hair, skin, and nails. In addition, cancer has been a part of her family history, so this was her opportunity to give back to the community. She enjoys engaging with participants and hearing their own stories and is always trying to recruit other cosmetologists to become volunteers.

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

What brought you to Look Good Feel Better? 

As a professional cosmetologist I had several of my clients diagnosed with various types of cancer. They were frightened and did not know what to do or what to expect regarding their hair, skin and nails. Cancer has also been part of my family history with several family members being diagnosed.  I had heard about the Look Good Feel Better program and decided to attend the volunteer training. Being in the salon industry for years, this also provided me with an opportunity to give back to the community. Volunteering gives support to those going through this journey along with being rewarding and fun. Every time I teach a class, I get far more than the attendees. The gratitude and just being together with others to share the experience is so rewarding for me. I am so fortunate to be a part of this program.

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

Every class is memorable as each participant has a story and every one of them is important. The most outstanding is, a young women walked into the class, she had a new baby and her husband had left her.  Her family lived in another state so she did not have a local support system in place. She was alone, sad and frightened, not sure about her job as she had been hiding the diagnosis from her manager. At the end of the evening she was laughing and had made new friends. She realized she was not alone and found new strength from sharing this time with others who understand the complexities of the situation. Every class has a moment or more when you tell yourself… Yes, this is worth every minute.

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

The skin care/makeup is my favorite section because these women make a special effort to come to the class.  Most of the time they are not feeling well, they may have had a treatment and are very tired. As we begin going through the products and using each one, they begin talking, laughing, sharing and at the end, look at themselves in a new light. The transformation is immediate and so rewarding. They are surprised at how good they look and feel. You can see it in their body language, how they look at themselves in the mirror.  They feel new, refreshed, and better. Many of the products they have never used so they are curious and enjoy trying them. They are so grateful and have so much fun with the new products.

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

I will continue to volunteer as I love doing it. I enjoy every participant as each one is unique and they are so courageous. Each has their own story and journey. As a volunteer I touch them for such a short time but the greatest impact is for me. They are so happy and appreciative as they leave. I highly recommend this to others and I am always trying to recruit cosmetologists to become volunteers.