Editor's note: our art critic Susan Platt has taken a different slant on culture this month. She looks at the spa culture as experienced at the Central Area Senior Center.
And now for a different kind of culture column!! On a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, I joined the Pampering Spa Day at the Central Area Senior Center.
I arrived with the ladies of Hearts for Humanity who were donating their talents as beauticians to the Senior Center for that afternoon. They were a cheery, beautiful group. As I walked in with them, carrying the tools of their trade, I felt my spirits rise already. They set up their various skills, haircuts, facials, manicures, hair braiding. We each chose two services for our contribution. Not only were the Hearts for Humanity women incredibly uplifting to just be around, all the people waiting for services were also delightful. And the Senior Center put out a big spread of food that kept us all busy while we waited for our turn.
But, the spa service was definitely more than the nails, hair and facials that they offered to people who were on the down side of society.
They offered a sense of joy!
As I sat with the masque over my face and the cucumbers on my eyes, the low hum of conversation around me was soothing. When I left with my renewed and refreshed face, people bid me farewell as though we were old friends. I had come with low spirits and left with a sense of community and contentment. And of course, the Central Area Senior Center view over the water on that beautiful day was an added bonus.
Here is the vision of Hearts for Humanity Social Services: “We want to bring our Self- esteem and Therapeutic Salon package to as many needy people that utilize shelters, convalescent homes, and schools as we can. We are interested in touching the lives of the people that are overlooked by society and often taken for granted by most people; the broken, the weary, the abused and the forgotten.”
When I inquired who came to the Senior Center, they sent me this statement:
“Our names are Gina Vaughns, McKenzie Brown, Corin Brown, Queenie Bradford, Zonie Brown, Lucretia, Jackie Juarez and Virginia. We are Case Managers, Chemical Dependency Professionals, Medical Assistants, Domestic Violence Advocates and Licensed Hair Stylists. The Director, Corin Brown, also works at the Downtown Seattle YWCA and Catholic Housing Services. We all have many years of volunteering for food banks, shelters, schools and convalescent homes. Our “Grooming for Success Program” builds self-esteem inside and out for those in educational training programs and low income elementary and junior high students. We cater to all individuals and families that reside/utilize drop in centers, shelters of all types, the mentally/physically ill, etc. We love our work and our 100 volunteers.”
Hearts for Humanity is truly generous spirited. The people on the margins do not have luxury in their lives in any form. This offers them an opportunity to feel special for an afternoon.
~Susan Noyes Platt, www.artandpoliticsnow.com