MAHOPAC, N.Y.-Studies have shown that when we look our best, we feel our best, which can provide a boost to our overall health. For female senior citizens who reside in senior care centers and other such facilities, applying a little makeup and nail polish can do wonders for the psyche. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done.
That’s where the GlamourGals come in. GlamourGals is a national organization with local chapters made up of volunteers who visit area senior homes and provide free makeup and manicures to the residents. It’s not only a morale-booster for the seniors; it offers plenty of benefits for the young volunteers, as well.
The Mahopac High School chapter of GlamourGals is now in its third year and its officers, all juniors, gave a presentation to the Board of Education last month in an effort to become sanctioned as an official school club.
“Our mission is to inspire students to volunteer and use their leadership skills, provide companionship and complimentary makeovers to seniors living in senior homes,” the group’s president, Jenna Vitale, told the board. “Some senior may not receive many visitors, or any at all, and it really boosts their mood when we come to do their free makeovers and manicures.”
The club, led by adviser Cynthia Colbrook, now boasts about 30 volunteers and visits a senior home once a month. It not only provides makeovers for the seniors, but also gets involved in other altruistic activities.
“We fundraise for extra necessities,” said Gamma Franzetti, the club’s public relations officer. “And we raised over $1,000 for the GlamourGals team for the Putnam County Alzheimer’s Walk. We had a holiday visit to the senior home where some of the high school orchestra and band students performed, which was really nice.”
“We’ve made Mother’s Day cards, Valentine’s Day cards; we’ve given out flowers,” added Ellen O’Brien, GlamourGals club vice president. “We had an author from Spain who is writing a book on manicures come to one of our meetings to observe the way our chapter works.”
Gianna Gervasi, the group’s treasurer, explained that the GlamourGals Foundation Inc. provides its chapters with a website where they can record events and request supplies.
“The national chapter provides us with all our materials, from nail polish and makeup to all the supplies we need for crafts,” she said. “The volunteers can receive scholarships, awards for service, volunteer hours and certificates for our achievements.”
On the journal section of the GlamourGals website, Mahopac member Alisha Mendez sums up the benefits of the club for all involved.
“GlamourGals doesn’t only have the ability to bring happiness and positivity to the senior citizens, but it is able to bring girls together,” she wrote. “Each time we meet to paint nails and do makeup, all of the volunteers grow closer as friends. We are all able to share the interest in performing makeovers and consulting one another for help while doing so. The amount of positivity that comes from GlamourGals is unbelievable. I am so proud to say that I have made wonderful friends through GlamourGals.”