Beauticians Use Skills to Serve Community; In Need of More Volunteers

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You probably know The Salvation Army is behind the seemingly ubiquitous Christmas Red Kettles and holiday bell ringers, and more than likely you’ve passed by or even visited one of our Family Thrift Stores. But did you know that in addition to these initiatives, The Salvation Army has many more national programs serving those in need, as well as unique programs specific to local communities? One such example is a Salvation Army beauty shop in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Yes, I said beauty shop. Surprised? So was I!

In 1995 a Battle Creek community member came to the local Salvation Army with the suggestion of assisting job seekers and those entering the job market by helping make them presentable for the process. Thus, The Salvation Army Beauty Shop was born, offering free haircuts and shampoos to clients such as homeless, low income, and job seeking individuals who otherwise may not be able to afford these services.

The program has for several years run on the efforts of three amazing volunteers: retired beauticians Shirley Hoeksema and Barb Herr who have offered their salon skills for the past 14 years, and Judy Wessmer who joined the team in 2007. Together, these three women have devoted more than 5,000 hours of their time to the community through their work at the salon.

Words can’t express how thankful we are for their selfless commitment! They have no doubt made an invaluable impact in the lives of many and show how integral volunteers are to the betterment of our communities.

But, the Battle Creek Salvation Army Beauty Shop needs more help to serve their many clients as some difficulties have put significant strains on these ladies.

Find out more about the situation and how you can help by reading an article written by Marcie Gothard of The Battle Creek Salvation Army: Battle Creek Enquirer: Salvation Army Seeking Volunteers with Hair Salon Experience.

To become involved, contact Marcie Gothard at 269-963-3640 ext. 17 or at

You can also find more information at The Battle Creek Salvation Army’s website at

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