This year, one of GlamourGals oldest chapters is turning eight years old! To celebrate, GG National joined the St. Joseph High School (SJHS) GlamourGals chapter at their October makeover in Brooklyn, New York. A dozen of volunteers participated, along with their chapter advisor, SJHS vice principal, Mr. John Touhey.
The chapter was started in 2008 by Julia Porter, an English teacher at SJHS who later went on to become the program director for GlamourGals. Today, the chapter has over 40 volunteers registered on GGchapters.org, and continues to maintain consistent monthly visits to the same senior home in Brooklyn. During October's makeover, volunteers were eager to share why they joined GlamourGals.
“My English teacher told me there was a service place where you get to talk to elderly people and I was excited because I used to love talking to elderly people.” -Alem, chapter volunteer
“I wanted to get involved with GlamourGals because it’s a good way to communicate with elderly people and to discover more about them, because not everybody gets to stay with their parents or grandparents.” -Coralie, chapter volunteer
“I joined because the girls said it was a lot of fun. You get to talk to the seniors and then they tell you lots of stories. You learn a lot too; since they are older and more mature, they can give better advice. When you’re talking to them, they can tell you a lot to help figure out life situations.
I feel like [GlamourGals] benefits the seniors and teens equally since sometimes the seniors don’t have families that come to visit. But it also helps us feel better, because I get to feel like I am helping. Everybody gets something out of it.” -Kristal, chapter volunteer
“A lot of my friends were asking how GlamourGals is and I told them they should volunteer. Not only does it help with community service [hours] but you also see people become happy, and it’s like a break for them because they’re always in here. Sometimes they see younger kids that know about the [outside world] and can tell them about it, or we get to hear about their stories about the world.” -Alesha, chapter volunteer
Other volunteers also shared advice and words of wisdom for any new GG volunteers.
“I was so nervous [my first visit] because on the way while we were walking, one of the upperclassmen told me that sometimes you may come in contact with people who may [not be nice]. My advice is just try to talk to the seniors because just doing their nails is not enough. If you actually have a conversation with them, it’s really nice to get to know them.” -Alem, chapter volunteer
“Practice makes perfect, if you keep coming you will get more comfortable. If you keep coming you can see the same senior and keep talking to them and build a relationship. You can come and get to know them and that’s really cool. If you are nervous or feel uncomfortable: just go. If you don’t like it after a while, you don’t have to go back, but if you just go a few times you will probably enjoy it and not want to stop.” - Kristal, chapter volunteer
Advisor John Touhey left GG National with some touching words regarding his experience with the chapter:
“[GlamourGals] is important for the students because it gets them to think about someone other than themselves, particularly the elderly of whom they probably have little contact with. It helps them appreciate the challenges of old age and infirmity, but also just to realize that these women have had long interesting lives.”