Here at Look Good Feel Better we couldn't possibly function without our amazing volunteers. Thanks to more than 1,000 dedicated beauty pros across Canada, our charity is able to help thousands of women and teens with cancer feel like themselves again each year.
In celebration of this special week, we asked YOU to nominate fellow Look Good Feel Better volunteers to be showcased.
We then asked the nominees from our incredible family of volunteers to share with us why they choose to dedicate themselves to the cause, and to share some of the beautiful moments they've experienced along the way.
Help us celebrate and thank these wonderful individuals who make a difference in the lives of women with cancer every day.
"Fourteen years ago I attended a LGFB workshop as a participant. What a self esteem-booster that was. I felt that my spirit had been lifted out of a daunting hole. A year and a half later, I had the opportunity to join as a volunteer and I jumped at the chance. I feel honored that I can now participate in paying it forward for other deserving women.
Each workshop makes my heart smile and has memorable moments in them. It might be participants that connect with each other, or watching the joy in their eyes when they see themselves in the mirror after their makeover, or how they rock that wig. Their tears of joy are infectious.
Today, I continue my journey with cancer with a positive attitude and a wish to instill that in each if the beautiful women who come through our workshop - knowing that if they look good they will feel better."
"I chose to be a part of Look Good Feel Better when I was a new breast cancer survivor 2001. As the new owner of the local mastectomy shop, and a prior hairdresser, I thought I'd be the perfect fit. 15 or so years later, I continue to share my personal journey with the participants, and it has always been positive for me as well as for them. We giggle, we get chills up our spines, we love seeing everyone blossom and we often hold back tears ... we enjoy our time together. It is so important for everyone involved to be a part of those special 2 hours.
My most meaningful workshop memory is when one of our participants (my model) asked someone to take a picture of her and I as I was being creative with a head wrap. She looked absolutely sparkling. She later wrote and posted a wonderful write up with pictures about LGFB and how appreciative she was for the kit and contents, and the wonderful and fun volunteers who brightened her day. A feel good moment for sure."
"The program gives hope and joy to the participants. It makes the ladies feel stronger. We are part of that by providing workshops. I volunteer for that reason - to be able to spark the sunshine ray in people living with cancer.
Every workshop is special. Some of them help to create lifelong friendships and some have triggered amazing discussions between participants where they can exchange experiences through shared journeys.
The best feeling is when a participant comes unsure and shy and as the workshop progresses, her facial expression changes to more confident and smiling. That is the best that can happen. I really enjoy seeing that transformation in the women who attend the workshops."
"I choose to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better because I am passionate about helping the women feel better about themselves. It is rewarding to see the women smiling and laughing as they are guided through the program, and as a result spirits are lifted. As the workshop comes to a close, they are so grateful to all of us for taking the time to help them. It is a wonderful feeling knowing we truly do make a difference in their lives.
I can recall many wonderful memories at the workshops. One memory in particular was an elderly woman in wheelchair who was being settled into a spot at the table by her husband. Treatment had been hard on her. Her husband asked that we look after her and I told him not to worry, that we will take care of her. When he arrived to pick her up and she was smiling and glowing - I will never forget the look on his face. He was so grateful that his wife was smiling again. It was a beautiful moment to be part of."
"I wanted to become a volunteer for LGFB over 20 years ago to help women who are undergoing treatments for cancer to not only look more like themselves with skin care and glamour but also to feel beautiful and hopeful on the inside!!! Bringing a smile to their face is all I need.
After all these years - it is impossible for me to find one workshop that is the most meaningful. Every workshop is special and when the participants hug the volunteers and cheer & clap for us, that is all that matters as you know u have made them feel fabulous!!"
"I began volunteering in 2009 when I was asked by the previous team lead to help, since she had family health demands that were too much. In 2010 I was asked to assume her role and I have done so since then.
Organizing the workshops twice a month is always memorable, since every session involves personally talking to and scheduling all the ladies as well as volunteers. The continued generosity of the volunteers, session after session, year after year, is & continues to be the most memorable experience that I take from my volunteer work with Look Good Feel Better.
I hold dear all the ladies I meet & the volunteers I work with. This gives me a great deal of satisfaction & inner purpose."
"I started volunteering with the program in late 2001 in Ottawa. A lady I worked with in the cosmetic industry told me about it and I immediately knew I wanted to be part of the program. We moved to Kelowna, BC in 2003 and I joined the program here. Shortly after I was diagnosed and treated for cancer myself. My team supported me through this.
All of the workshops are meaningful in their own way. I consider our team to be special angels and I know each one of us get just as much out of the experience of volunteering as the participants do. It is a special group of ladies who gather each month to support and help women with cancer. I’m just one of the group."
"I became a makeup artist for the sole reason of volunteering at LGFB. I’ve always loved makeup. The colours, the products, the skillful applications. But what I most love about makeup is how it can transform you. When someone does a quick glance in a mirror as and say, “ Hey, I’m really liking my new lipstick colour.” That to me is such an uplifting experience and can transform any woman’s challenging day into a better one. Dealing with cancer is not an easy thing. If I can make a women feel better about herself even for a short period of time because she loves her new lipstick colour; she loves the eye makeup; or she now can see her eyebrows, then I have done my job. I get total fulfillment being privileged enough to be part of this. So I may be a volunteer with LGFB, but what I give, I way more get back!"
"I feel grateful helping women, who are going through a difficult cancer diagnosis, to look and feel like themselves again. It is gratifying to work with such great volunteers each month, and I can't imagine my life without LGFB.
One of my most meaningful workshop memories was working with a woman who had lost the majority of her eyebrows during treatment. She was my demonstration model for recreating eyebrows, and when I was finished, she looked in the mirror and her eyes welled up with tears. She hugged me and said, "I look like me again! But better!". I was holding back tears and noticed not only the smile on her face, but that of everyone else's in the room as well."
"My reasons for volunteering with LGFB started 25 years ago when Mary Kay Cosmetics asked if any of the Consultants were interested in helping volunteer with LGFB, and use what we did every day to make women feel better about themselves. I had just gone through a breast cancer scare and knowing how frightening it was for me and how lucky I was, I knew I had to get involved. I wanted to make every woman feel very special no matter what they are going through. Over the years I have lost a number of friends to cancer and every class I do is for them too!
My most meaningful workshop memory was when several months after starting the program in Abbotsford, a Lady came to to the class straight from her hospital bed. I greeted her at the door and she burst into tears and said, "I don’t think I can do this, I’m so out of control today". We talked for a few moments and I told her this was exactly where she needed to be today - to trust me, that I would walk her through this, and that she would see she's not alone in this journey! She came in and enjoyed the class so much that she sent us a thank you note a month later and remarked that it changed her that day, that she was doing fine, and that she would recommend this program to everyone she met going through cancer. The feeling you get from helping just one woman like that stays with you forever. I am so thankful that LGFB came into my life then. I have the greatest and most dedicated team there with me at every class."
"I choose to volunteer for Look Good Feel Better because of the inspiration and appreciation for the strength, determination and willpower shown by the amazing women who come through the program. Their outlook on life and the optimism they demonstrate while going through what is an incredibly challenging time is empowering. To be able to make these women feel as incredible as they truly are is fulfilling for me and something I feel fortunate to be able to offer.
A meaningful memory of mine is of of a young woman attending a workshop. She was in her 20's, very reserved and visibly upset. When she arrived she was wearing a baseball cap and was hesitant to remove it. As the session progressed, she slowly warmed up and then an incredible moment happened. With her makeup applied and looking gorgeous, we fitted her with the most exceptional red wig. Immediately she came to life. Her eyes brightened, her smile lifted. By the end of the day, she walked out of the room with the utmost confidence, nothing stopping her. Her mother followed behind simply beaming. It was a transformational day for all of us. One I'll never forget."
"Volunteering for Look Good Feel Better costs nothing but the rewards are incredible. It truly is an honour to get to volunteer with such an amazing group of talented women who are not only wonderful with the participants, but also incredibly supportive of each other. When the participants arrive for the workshop, many look tired as if they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Others look shy and apprehensive. When they see the makeup, they usually begin to smile. Free makeup and learning about hair alternatives is the what brings them to the workshops. Spending an evening with others who are going through a similar experience, is what makes it such a special night. By the end of the night, the ladies are all talking with each other and they look fantastic. It is uplifting to see the change in the ladies from the beginning to the end of the workshop.
A memorable workshop was the first I ever attended, as a cancer patient myself. I arrived looking grey and pale. Thanks to Anna who helped with my makeup and Marne who led the workshop, I left looking better than I'd ever looked before! I felt like a million bucks. Another memorable workshop was when I arrived to volunteer just after my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The volunteers were incredibly supportive, understanding, kind and caring. Their warmth and kindness helped me get through this time. Spending that evening volunteering with patients and their families was heartwarming and uplifting. Leaving feeling better than when you arrived... that is the magic of the program."
"I chose to volunteer with LGFB because I like to help women and the workshop is an opportunity to give women a couple of hours to be pampered. It is so rewarding to see them enjoy themselves and to be able to teach them techniques to help them deal with effects of cancer with the complimentary products in the kits.
The workshop memory that is most meaningful to me was with a women who arrived at the workshop very fearful and uncomfortable, but by the end of the workshop she shared with us that her fears were gone and she really had a great time and was so thankful for our help."
"I decided to become a volunteer for LGFB because as a hairdresser of almost 45 years, I was blessed by my industry in a career where I could make people feel good about themselves, and I felt that was the best way I could give back. Giving is the best gift we can receive, seeing the smiles on their faces after a transformation - especially to those who have never worn makeup.
Those are some of my best workshop memories - seeing a transformation with even a lipstick application that lifted a woman's spirit and confidence and for those 2 hours, forgot about cancer and felt good again. To know that we had a small part in this, that’s the gift."
"I chose to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better to honour my aunt who passed away after treatment. She was from out of town but I tried to be with her every time she came to Hamilton for Chemo, etc. It gave my uncle a break and he appreciated having a woman to sit with her for support.
Every workshop is meaningful because when the smiling participants are leaving and thanking us for what we do, we know we have made a difference in their lives. The one that affected me the most was the workshop we took to the Six Nations Reserve in Oshweken. We had 14 participants, and lots of volunteers. We do it for the smiles but it was nice to interact and know our efforts on their behalf were truly appreciated."
"I choose to volunteer for the Look Good feel better program because when I underwent chemotherapy at the age of 34 the closest LGFB program was a 4 hour drive away from me. I was unable to access this program although I was aware that it would have been of great benefit to me. Years later, when I was asked to facilitate the program in my area, I was thrilled that the program would be available to women in rural new Brunswick.
A meaningful memory for me was a workshop where a 26 year old young mother came through the door. Perhaps her frightened look spoke to my heart as I could remember how scared I was when I was diagnosed. I too was a mother of young children when I was diagnosed. I think I was "reliving" the terror of being diagnosed with a deadly disease. We had fun at the workshop that day. At first she smiled, just a bit, then she laughed...my heart burst with gratefulness that we could give her a couple of hours of lightness and laughter. When she left that day she thanked us all for making her feel like her old self and for giving her hope that she could face her future with courage and beauty!"
"I have volunteered at this workshop for a number of years, starting in Ontario and now continue here in BC. I was introduced to it through my Mary Kay business and felt it was such a fabulous way to help women. I have had several family members deal with cancer of some form or another, so it does touch close to home for me.
I can’t say I have just one memory from a workshop as they are all different and touching in their own way. The biggest thrill is always seeing the look on the participants' faces when they are done and you can see their confidence growing right in front of you. I also love to see how the vibe of the room changes from when we first start to when we are done – women going from being a little anxious and shy to chatting with each other, sharing stories and ideas by the end….it’s awesome to watch the transformations!"
"I learned about the chance to volunteer with LGFB at a professional trade show over 19 years ago. I’ve been working in the skin care industry as an aesthetician for a long time and I was so happy to come across an organization where I can volunteer some time to use my professional background and knowledge to pass down to ladies going through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis. I do my best to add some humour to the presentations to make our participants feel more relaxed. The transformation is truly amazing on these ladies faces by the time they leave the workshop, and that itself is an amazing feeling for us volunteers as well.
The most meaningful moments of these workshops are when we see the ladies become relaxed and form bonds with each other, and when they choose to stay around a little longer just to continue to talk."
"It is so gratifying to volunteer for LGFB. Before our eyes we see women transform not only in appearance but in spirit. Women enter the room not knowing each other but spend an evening together laughing and smiling, and leave with renewed confidence. The purpose of the workshop is to lift their spirits, but it lifts our spirits too.
My favourite memory is when I met a women who told me that she had been to a workshop one month after receiving the news of having only one year left. She hugged me and said LGFB saved her life. It gave her the strength and determination to not give up - she would not be beaten. When I met her, it had been five years since she had recieved that news and attended the workshop."
"I choose to volunteer for LGFB to be able to offer these strong & courageous women an afternoon/evening that's all about them, so that they can feel and look more like themselves again. The participants may come in uncertain of what to expect from the workshop but leave with smiles, a few laughs and new friends they've met!. I always leave the worshop so thankful that I'm able to be part of this tremendous program!
My most meaningful workshop memory was when one of my work colleagues attended our workshop and was SO grateful to us for the time that we spent with her and all the participants. She came to my workplace to give me a bouquet of flowers to show us her appreciation. With everything that she was going through her first thought was to bring ME flowers! I cherish that moment! I think of her every time I use this vase with the ladybug on it!"
"I started volunteering with LGFB when it started in Regina over 20 years ago. I always leave feeling good after seeing the smiles and laughs from the brave ladies who are going through such a traumatic time in their life. They come in looking a bit uncertain and it is amazing to see what a little make up and comaraderie can do to lift their spirits. And they love getting all the product!
There are so many meaning memories. One of the most recent was helping a young woman who had a brain tumour find something comfortable to wear on her head. The other participants were so helpful as they opened up and shared their experiences. Some of these ladies leave such an impression on me that they remain in my thoughts and prayers for a long time."
"I choose to volunteer for Look Good Feel Better because I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to use my skills and experience in the cosmetic industry to benefit women with something positive in, for many, a very low time of their life.
My most poignant memory in the workshops is on an occasion when one woman came, crying, and really didn’t think that she would be able to stay beause of her distress. She was encouraged to give it a try, with the option to leave if she felt too uncomfortable. She stayed for the entire workshop, leaving with a smile, appreciation for the experience and a whole new optimistic attitude toward her situation. It was very heartwarming."
"I have been volunteering with LGFB for 14 Years. I first became a volunteer so I could hopefully make a difference by adding a little sparkle and maybe brighten the day of these special woman dealing with their appearances related effects of cancer. Spoil them a little by giving them a fun-filled time and offer a great venue to meeting other women while learning about skin care, makeup and hair alternatives. LGFB is the perfect organization to offer this. LGFB has been a perfect fit for me. I have always loved making women feel fabulous about them selves.
My greatest memories over the last 14 years have been the feelings I get the day of each workshop knowing we are going to make a positive difference in someone's day. The gift of making a woman feel a little more like herself and watching her walk out of our workshop with her head held high and a bounce in her step - that is the greatest feeling we get as volunteers. I'm blessed to be a part of this amazing organization."
"I choose to be a volunteer with Look Good Feel Better because I am a trained oncology esthetician and I believe people need to have updated & current information. I continually have woman coming into my business who have been affected by cancer and have so many questions about there skin, hair & makeup. This is one way to give back and reach a larger amount of ladies who are dealing with there changing skins needs.
The most meaningful experience I’ve had this far volunteering with LGFB has to be volunteering at Camp Ooch, in Muskoka. What a wonderful magical place for these children and teens have been affected by childhood cancer. It’s amazing that we can make an impact for these children. The words Look Good Feel Better couldn’t apply more appropriately than at this camp & they were so welcoming. A few of the kids took us on a private tour of the grounds and shared their stories with us and even let us join in on some games at lunch. All the volunteers were so wonderful that day and it’s all about seeing the smiles at the end of the workshop. I think I probably had the biggest smile though! Thats the Magic of Ooch."
"When I was making plans for my retirement I knew I needed to keep busy because that’s the kind of person I am. I had heard about the Look Good Feel Better program through Mary Kay Canada and wanted to get involved with doing something worthwhile. After attending the first class I knew it was what I wanted to do. I stay because I see results and feel that I am doing something good.
No one event comes to mind but what does stand out most of all are the happy smiles on the faces of the women at the end of the class. Every class has at least one woman who says she learned things she never knew before. And of course, there are some very appreciative hugs as well. This all makes the effort worthwhile. I know we’ve made a difference."
"It has been 25 years now and I have never regretted ever being a part of this wonderful program. I get great pleasure in helping other people and seeing these women smile so much when we are finished makes my heart feel full. It is so rewarding.
A very special workshop happened a few years ago when we had a lady come down who was an inpatient in the hospital. She attended in her wheelchair and had her IV with her as well. She wasn't feeling her best and didn't think she would be able to stay for the whole session. She ended up staying for the entire workshop and when we finished, she couldn't take her eyes off the mirror. She said was she couldn't believe how WELL she looked - I had tears in my eyes when she said that. This is why this program is so important to so many women who are going through their treatments."
"Since the day I started 17 years ago, I can honestly say that I have never finished a session without 'feeling good' myself as well. When a participant enters the room, I can feel her hesitancy of what to expect, and I always do my utmost to make each one feel at ease. After suffering the loss of my sister and brother in one week, I decided to give more of my time to helping others, so I joined LGFB. Although I also volunteer as a horticultural judge, a Certified Master Gardener, Canadian Diabetes canvasser, Church nursery sitter, Westmount Garden Club Caring Committee person, PR person and past secretary, I realize that I get the most fulfillment from helping women suffering from the effects of cancer. I wish more women were made aware of this one-of-a-kind program that brings smiles to faces that haven't been smiling enough. Thank God there is such a program."
"If you have ever met her or watched a workshop led by her you would no instantly why she is award-worthy. She makes the participants feel at home right away with her sincere enthusiasm. She encourages them to share their thoughts and ideas with her warm smile and encouraging words. She makes everyone feel like a million bucks... just by looking at her and hearing her speak. Empathy oozes from her. She is also fantastic with the volunteers and makes everyone want to be there and be part of the team. Marne is one in a million."
"Deanna Bell-Fast from Chatham workshop, is the most generous volunteer I have ever met, she does hair replacement part of the workshop, so lovely and so caring, plus she makes me smile!"
"Karen and her staff, from Sienna's Spa and Salon, give time from their busy schedule to volunteer with Look Good Feel Better. This group of ladies come happy and energized to give 100% of their attention to the ladies participating in the workshop. Each attendee leaves the workshop feeling whole and new because of the interaction from Karen and her staff. We have great volunteers!!"
"Linda is a very dedicated volunteer with the LGFB program and shows great compassion and empathy for the ladies who come to the workshops .
Linda is our host site volunteer and is the reason four workshops run so smoothly. Linda worked at the Cancer Society office here in Corner Brook for fourteen years and has a compassion beyond compare. I am very proud to call her my friend and happy that I can nominate her at this time."
"Janet stepped in this last year, when our unit was in need of volunteers. She is friendly, professional and a very happy person. She is a real asset to our team."
Amy is very dedicated to LGFB even though she has a husband and two middle age children as well as a full time job. She gives so much enthusiasm and attention to detail while leading our workshops! All the volunteers as well as participants love her!
"She organizes the sessions for all the volunteers of LGFB at HOPE & COPE. She works at the office of H&C in many capacities and acts as a go-betwen with the Team Leader of LGFB and the H&C office coordinator. She informs the team of the yearly schedule, writes wonderful little reports of each session that she attends to keep the team in the loop, and Evelyne is just such a lovely person, fluently bilingual, charming and professional in every way."
"She does an amazing job with the hair alternative and wig portion of the workshop. She often has the ladies laughing, making this portion of the workshop fun. The ladies enjoy learning from her, while modelling the new hairstyles. She is very caring and also does local fundraising from time to time to help out LGFB."
"Mae is always so quick to respond to my requests for volunteers and when we were in need of a Hair Alternative Specialist, she did the online training as well as observed our previous specialists. She is my go-to person when I think I may be short a cosmetic advisor or a HAS. Caring and consistent. Love her to bits."
"She is very dedicated to providing the program for as many women as possible. She conducts a fantastic workshop and is always willing to fill in when I am not able to volunteer or be a Team Leader, and I really appreciate it!"
"I'd like to nominate my JGH and Glen Teams as DREAM TEAM 1 and 2 - not just because we work together, but because we work together as a TEAM - always showing great respect, support and empathy for one another and the workshop participants. You are a Dream Team because you are dedicated, committed and most helpful in ensuring the success of every workshop. Keep up the great DREAM TEAMWORK!"
Look Good Feel Better workshops are held all across our bi-lingual country! We have a long list of incredible French-speaking volunteers. Click the link below to read the stories of the individuals being celebrated this special week.Read Stories