10 years of Caring

Women get a special day at NorWest Co-op Community Health.

The 10th anniversary of the Women’s Day of Caring at NorWest Co-op Community Health’s resource centre on Alexander Ave. was hosted by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) on Tuesday.

SuperFUNtasticEvent provided photos to each of the ladies with their fresh cuts.

SuperFUNtasticEvent provided photos to each of the ladies with their fresh cuts.

Almost 50 smiling women socialized and enjoyed free haircuts, manicures, and lunch at the United Way agency partner. They chose from clothing, shoes, and books, and came away with gift bags of jewelry, toiletries and cosmetics.

Students from Scientific Marvel Beauty School volunteered their skills.

Students from Scientific Marvel Beauty School volunteered their skills.

“It’s really great to give them a day where they’re pampered and have someone take care of them,” said NorWest Community Development Coordinator Elizabete Halprin.

Some of the women live isolated lives, Elizabete said. They may be alone or single parents living on a low income, or going through issues stemming from abuse or trauma.

Yvonne Clements thinks she may have missed just one Women’s Day of Caring in 10 years.

Yvonne Clements says the Day of Caring is a chance for women to connect.

Yvonne Clements says the Day of Caring is a chance for women to connect.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Yvonne, tucking into a sandwich and veggies after her haircut.

“It’s time for women to be pampered. They might not have had their hair done for years, seriously, and it’s a chance to get new clothes for free.”

Yvonne said residents in her Blake Gardens housing complex “don’t really socialize, so this is a chance to get to know each other.”

“This is the one big social event.”

WDOC-nails2

As in past years, Scientific Marvel Beauty School students – 19 of them – were on hand to provide the free haircuts and manicures.

WDOC-nails

Scientific Marvel Esthetics Instructor Romona Boeve said the day is about more than “making someone pretty.”

“It’s a connection. You’re making a connection with a person and talking to them.”

WDOC-hair

Jan Morowski of the WRHA, which had seven volunteers helping out, said making personal connections is a wonderful part of the event.

“They connect through this as neighbours and become friends.”

WRHA provided clothing and shoes through an employee drive – enough for each woman to leave with multiple bags full.

The ladies got to choose a new book provided by Frontier College, which also provided children’s books for the prize baskets.

All the women took home gift bags, and 15 lucky winners also got prize baskets.

All the women took home gift bags, and 15 lucky winners also got prize baskets.

“We support United Way and Day of Caring,” said Frontier College Community Coordinator Karen Ste. Marie.

“Literacy happens at every level. There’s always an opportunity to learn, and women who use NorWest can be lifelong learners, right?”

France Croteau picked out a book that resonated with her.

France Croteau picked out a book that resonated with her.

France Croteau passed on the fiction for Flat Out Rock – Ten Great Bands of the 60s. She said she attended Woodstock in 1974 as an 11-year-old girl and remembers “dancing with my mum and dad.”

Learn more about United Way Days of Caring online or contact Day of Caring manager Hillary at 204-924-4273 or hgair@unitedwaywinnipeg.mb.ca.

9-day-old Annabelle was not interested in a manicure. Maybe next year!

9-day-old Annabelle was not interested in a manicure. Maybe next year!

A little nailpolish creates a lot of smiles at the Women’s Day of Caring

A little bit of nailpolish and a lot of caring.

A neighbourhood woman is treated to a manicure

That’s what makes the Women’s Day of Caring, a partnership of the WRHA and NorWest Coop Community Health, something that women in their neighbourhood look forward to for the whole year. On April 4, the women were given a day where they could be treated like queens and refresh their spirits with simple pleasures like a haircut, a manicure, and a chance to pick out some clothes.

“I get phone calls about it in January from the women about it – so they can be put on a list already. They know about it, and they so look forward to it,”says Caprice Kehler of NorWest. “They tell me it’s so good just to have a little break.”

This year, after their visits with hairdressers and estheticians had given the women’s spirits a lift, photographers from Kelly Anne Photography and Soni Images Video & Photography came to take beauty portraits. “They’re so shy to get them done at first, but when the portraits come back and the women come in to see them, it’s amazing to see their faces,” says Kehler. “Because in those photos, they feel good and look good, and it shows.”

That’s the difference a little bit of caring can make.

Thanks to the WRHA and Nor’West, Salon Professional Academy for providing haircuts, the estheticians of Scientific Marvel, clothing donors WRHA and Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Costco for providing food, and the photographers who captured the smiles the day put on women’s faces.

What difference does a day make?

Sheila Bachyrsky lives on a tight budget. For her, even a haircut is a luxury she can’t afford.

So when United Way agency partner Nor’West Co-op Community Health Centre teamed up with WRHA, Edward Carriere and Capelli Academy for a Day of Caring, she was so excited she couldn’t sleep the night before.

What difference does a day make? We think her smile says it all.