By Raychel Stewart
For The Signal
The Beauty Bus made a stop at the Bella Vida senior center on Thursday, offering seniors free haircuts, facials, manicures and makeovers.
Staff and volunteers of the Beauty Bus set up six hair-cutting chairs, four facial stations, two manicure tables and one makeup seat inside the center, as seniors waited anxiously for the pampering.
“I love getting haircuts,” said Gary Watts, the first person in line. “It makes me happy and feel so good. I come get a haircut whenever the bus is here.”
Robin Clough, director of volunteers and recreation for the senior center, said whenever this event comes to Bella Vida, it’s very popular. Seniors lined up early Thursday morning to secure a spot with their desired service.
Certified cosmetologist Gloria Torres has been volunteering with Beauty Bus for four years after hearing a client talk about it at the hair salon where she used to work. Earlier in the week, she brought similar services to her hometown of Jalisco, Mexico, but added that she cut her trip short to be at the senior center Thursday.
“I love to do this. I love giving these people comfort,” said Torres. “Seeing them so happy is such a blessing. This is better than getting paid. It’s awesome”
The room erupted in conversation and laughter once the seniors came in for their services.
One attendee, Tommie Ward, came dancing in, saying hello to all the staff and volunteers.
“This makes me so happy,” said Ward as she sat down to get her manicure. “Bella Vida means happy, beautiful life, and that’s exactly what they’re giving me here.”
Ward said after she gets her nails done she plans on dancing for the rest of the day.
Shawnee Hoyd, director of talent and services, began filing Ward’s nails as she described what working for Beauty Bus meant to her.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community,” said Hoyd. “I learned how to make wigs and started that way. Then I heard of Beauty Bus and thought it was great.”
Beauty Bus is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and organizers were proud to have many local volunteers for the event at the senior center.
“Anytime I have the opportunity to give back, I do it,” said Nicole Koshak, first-time volunteer. “This service helps give people power and self-esteem they need.”