Recently, I had the amazing and wonderfully humbling experience of volunteering with Flashes of Hope. I wanted to share with others how wonderful this experience really was. I had been wanting to use my talents as a Makeup Artist and help make those who have life -threatening illnesses feel good and smile again. Well thanks to my friend Scott, and his connecting me with Carrie Gowans (Co-Chapter Director of Chicago-Flashes of Hope), a match was made and I was able to volunteer!
Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization that helps children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses view themselves in a different light through photography while raising money for pediatric cancer research. Each month at various locations around Chicago and some suburbs they set up photo shoots in hospitals working with these brave, wonderful families who are going through a tough time. Photographers, Volunteers and Makeup Artists give their time (free of charge) to help make a difference and create an atmosphere that is fun and light and makes them forget about being sick. The families then take the photos home with them and have this as a souvenir of a memorable experience.
I had wanted to do something similar for so many years but never had the right connections or was in the right situation. This is one of the reasons I love being a make-up artist and I want to make a difference in helping others feel good with my expertise!
I didn’t know what to expect or how it would all go. I was kind of nervous and didn’t want to say the wrong thing. I was overanalyzed in my head how everything would go. I wanted to pick up a few items for the kids and decided sparkle lip gloss and some sparkle shadow would be a hit. Some of the kids were able to take home (if it was ok with the parent) their gloss, which they loved. Even family members were able to join in on the beautifying treatment for the day. Mothers were able to relax, feel pretty, and feel good about themselves as well, some of them having forgotten what it felt like. Their days consist of running back and forth, to and from the hospital while taking care of the other siblings. Some never even get a chance to leave the hospital due to the seriousness of the illness. Helping these courageous family members and brave children feel good was very rewarding.
To help these mothers see the beauty that they’d lost sight of was just awesome!! The day ran smoothly and they just loved the attention-it was much easier and more laid back than I anticipated. I loved this experience so much that I want to do this regularly, as a way to help give back. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. I look forward to many more!
For more information on how you can give back, visit Flashes of Hope.