By Aubrye Carr, Body Shop Manager and CFH Development Assistant
The Body Shop at Northlake Mall donates our products to families in the Charlotte Family Housing shelters every few months. This time, we wanted to do something more—something fun, memorable, and something that allowed us to use our occupational gifts.
As my team and I discussed what we would like to do for our partner charity, we remembered the Girl’s Night Out parties we often host at the store. We could bring the spa experience to the women in the shelters! An experience that many have never had…
Some of our team members were nervous. “How are we going to interact with the women in a non-retail setting?” After assuring them everything would be fine, and that we simply needed to be natural, the day was set!
It was a Sunday evening and everything was packed and ready to go. We left Northlake Mall and headed out to the Plaza Place shelter. Once we arrived, you one could tell there was a lot of high energy and excitement for the event. Nothing like this had ever happened at one of the shelters before! The group was as welcoming as usual; we had many girls ask if they could help us set up or if we needed anything. “No,” we said, “this night is all about you!”
We set up four stations in order to make the event as spa-like as possible. As the ladies entered the room, there was a relaxing scent of jasmine that surrounded the revamped day center. They began at our hand massage station where they placed their hands in warm peppermint water, and then they chose between three scents (shea, brazil nut or peach) for their hand massage. We then spritzed them with a matching body spray and sent them to the mini-facial station. Their skin type was analyzed for the perfect facial mask. As they were waiting for the facial mask to sink in, they could listen to the relaxing music playing in the background or simply laugh and converse with their friends about how ridiculous they looked with the masks on. For most of the younger girls, this was their favorite part. The giggles that exploded out of them when they saw their friends, mothers, sisters, or even themselves for that matter were simply contagious. We even got a few of the younger boys to participate in the masking!
Once their mask time was complete, they were then given a warm cloth to wipe their faces. They were then cleansed and moisturized, and sent to the make-over station. Here, the ladies were taught how to apply an interview-ready look, and the younger girls learned how to apply makeup for day time. Our focus was to enhance natural beauty—personality is what captures most people’s attention, not makeup. The ladies’ personalities were simply exhilarating, and they certainly didn’t need much makeup help from us to enhance the natural beauty they were blessed with. Once their spa treatment was finished, the ladies were given a small goodie bag to take with them that included travel-sized shower gels and lotion, a small bath lily, and—every girl’s favorite—chocolate. The smiles and memories that my co-workers and I were able to take with us were unforgettable. The nervousness that some of us had going into it was eliminated within the first five minutes of the event. We only hope that we made as much of an impact on the ladies that participated as they did on us. We hope to turn this experience into a recurring event at the shelters and create a lasting memory for everyone involved.