Hey!!!! Hope you’re having a great Saturday afternoon. How bout a free mani or pedi? How does a free hair color and cut sound?
Pretty awesome, right?
Well, you would be correct…we had a BLAST today helping out the women in our homeless and low-income communities here in RI with free mani’s, pedis, color, cuts and more!!!
Gilannie Pangburn and her amazing I Need You To Survive Team did an amazing job today and deserve a ton of credit for their hard work and faithfulness. Thanks to Praise Tabernacle Church in Cranston for use of their facilities, the volunteers were able to start setting up early – a separate station for manicures, pedicures, hair washing, hair coloring, and hair cutting/styling – with a group of eager volunteers manning each station. They also provided breakfast and a home-made lunch for the ladies to enjoy while waiting for their turn, as well as free clothes. The volunteers come from all over the state – some are members of the church, others are on the Board of the RI Dream Center, others own their own salons (shout-out to Dawn Periquito of Hair Serenity Salon – please support her salon at 1271 Cranston Street in Cranston), we also had the AMAZING ABC Team of Help the Homeless in RI come through, and still others volunteers are simply members of the community who have heard about the program and just want to help out. Some are pro’s, others are novices, but all are pretty awesome!!!!
We sent the bus out around 9am this morning and picked up a dozen & a half women for the event – it was a gloomy, rainy, crummy day outside, but it is early Spring in Providence and some of the trees and flowers are finally starting to bloom. When the ladies arrived at the church, they might have been downcast as well – but smiles began to shine brightly on their faces as they were greeted with smiles and hugs from the team of volunteers. I don’t know what these ladies last few days/weeks/months/years might have been like – but I do know that today was a day of TLC, jokes, smiles and good cheer. We spend one-one-one time with each guest – not only helping with makeovers, but also loving on them. It’s so exciting to be able to remind these women just how special they are – and to see the smiles on their faces throughout the day makes all the work well worth it. It feels great helping these special ladies feel great about themselves.
Today was a unique day as well – normally we only pick up women on the bus, but today a whole family hopped on for a ride…this homeless family of six (mom, dad and their four children) just landed in Providence from Florida and was completely lost here – I’m not even sure how they got to RI, but the family saw our bus out on the streets helping the homeless and they just knew if anyone would help, we sure would. Fortunately, Wendy Thomas, a volunteer for the RI Coalition for the Homeless, was at the event today and she called in a case worker who is going to try go find them some shelter, food and clothing immediately!!!
Imagine that – all we expected to do today was to bless some less fortunate friends in the community with free makeovers (inside and out!) – but beyond that we got to connect with a homeless, hurting family with an advocate that will take good care of them. I really do hope that the Mom and Dad are both able to find work soon in order to make a better life for their family here in the Ocean State. It sure is interesting how things work out – one chance encounter with a group of loving volunteers downtown Providence can become an opportunity to flip a homeless family’s life rightside-up!!! We just happened to be at the right place, at the right time – doing the right thing! This was not a coincidence!!!
Today was a very special day. I hope you had as much fun reading this diary entry and looking through the pics below as I did spending time with these lovely guests and amazing volunteers.