Ask Sam: GG Leadership

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Hello GlamourGals! Sam here and I just wanted to do a shout out to all the wonderful volunteers I met at this year’s GLTI! I hope to see you guys again next year, along with even more new faces! So let me introduce myself to any new readers:

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At the GLTI, I received many wonderful questions and I hope to be able to answer them all, but don’t worry: There’s no question too difficult for me to answer.

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I’ll be answering four questions in this Ask Sam so this is going to be a long one!

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Our first question comes from Sophia in NY:

How do you raise money for the makeup?

We at GG National will ship all the things you need for a successful GG Signature Makeover - that’s what your registration fee is for! Tips on fundraising for your chapter’s fee are covered in a previous Ask Sam. Good luck to everyone who wants to fundraise on behalf of GlamourGals!

Our second question comes from Anonymous in NY:

As a leader, how do I keep the volunteers in the chapter involved and interested in what we’re doing?

As someone who knows GG from a volunteer perspective, I must say that leaders are an invaluable part of what keeps GG growing strong. Leaders make sure to remind everyone when there’s a makeover. Leaders motivate you to come to a makeover even when you just had your hardest final. Leaders remind you of the reasons why you decided to be a GlamourGal in the first place.

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Leaders keep everything organized and prepare so much behind the scenes so that all their volunteers need to worry about is putting a smile on a senior’s face. Leaders are a source of motivation to keep doing your best because you have the makings of a leader too! One day, you can lead the chapter or start your own.

While being a leader isn’t all fun and games…  Well, it could be, by using the Chapter Creativity Fund!

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The Chapter Creativity Fund is a way for your GlamourGals chapter to be reimbursed for special events or activities you plan for seniors. GG National will reimburse up to $50 per event for all approved materials not included in the GG tote.

As we say at GG National,

“GlamourGals, more than makeup and manicures”

An important thing about running your chapter is making sure your chapter doesn’t feel like it’s a chore or any other reluctant obligation. They should come to the makeover with a smile on their face and the objective to create more smiles in the seniors they’ll be visiting that day.

While makeovers are always offered at your senior home visits, there’s nothing stopping your chapter from doing even more cool stuff!

As a chapter, do fun activities together that will benefit the seniors. We’ve had many chapters throughout the years show their creativity through numerous ways and we’ve come to a consensus that the holidays are a huge source of inspiration for all things arts and crafts.

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One of our newest college chapters, Tiffin University, painted pumpkins with their seniors in October and had a wonderful time that you can read about here.

With arts and crafts, the possibilities are endless! You can make paper flowers, blow up balloons, make cards, paint objects, fold origami, and anything else your chapter deems as a great, safe activity to do with your seniors, do for your seniors, or both!

Planning arts and crafts activities is one way to have fun and give back at same time! It’s having your cake and eating it too. Speaking of which…

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Bake for your seniors! If your school has a culinary class or after-school cooking club, see if it’s possible to team up for the benefit of giving a sweet treat for the seniors. Make sure to check in with the senior facility about what ingredients cannot be used due to possible food allergies, like peanuts for example.

We’ve been having our cookie campaign, #dough4good, so this is the perfect opportunity to bake goods like cookies for the seniors and create happy memories for the season.

You can even put on a show for your seniors! I’ve seen many chapters with so much talent for the arts and who wouldn’t like to share that with the seniors? You can even have them vote for the best act!

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There are so many other things you can do, too! Another example is hosting a Game Night! Bring in some of your favorite board games to play with the seniors! The senior facility might even have some games already on hand.

But of course…

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Make sure your contact at the facility is aware of your plans ahead of time! Asking permission is necessary to avoid situations such as food allergies, and organizing the space you need to accommodate live performances or any other activity. Working with the senior facility, you can all create a wonderful event for your chapter and the seniors.

So with these sorts of activities, your makeovers are set to be a blast. Once again, check out how to propose your creativity fund here.

Our third question comes from Emily in NY:

I was recently elected President of my GlamourGals chapter and I really want to do the best job I can do. How can I be a better president? Also, how can I avoid awkward silences during makeovers?

There’s no one way to be the best president: We have so many different chapters and I can tell you that every leader runs their chapter in their own unique way.

We have chapters that have makeovers once a week and some that go once a month. We have chapters that go to 5 senior facilities and some that go to only one. We have chapters that have over 50 volunteers and some that have 10. All these chapters are successful and thriving, due to the commitment of their leaders and their volunteers.

As a leader, you set your pace according to the needs of your chapter and your senior facility. You listen and work with your team: Discuss when are the best days for you all to visit and allow the senior facility to choose. Use tools like google calendar and text or email groups to remind your chapter of your makeovers and meetings. Be open to suggestions and new ideas. Foster an environment where everyone has a voice and can be heard.

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I want every GG Chapter leader to know that we at GG National are here to support you and your chapter, and help you be the best you all can be. Leading your chapter isn’t always easy. It requires dedication, confidence, and the ability to communicate not only with your chapter, but with your senior facility. As your own chapter is full of diverse and unique individuals, so is the senior facility.

I suggest holding training sessions with new and old recruits to better prepare them for what to expect from a typical visit. Make your chapter aware of the different situations that can happen with seniors, such being nonverbal or unwilling to communicate. There are many ailments that can come with old age and it’s important to be able to empathize with their situation.

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But awkward silences don’t need be awkward. Ask a supervising adult if your chapter can play music during your makeovers. It’s fun to create playlists of older tunes for the seniors to enjoy. Try to find popular music from their era. It fills the air and can help create a relaxing environment.

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But even then, they still might not respond and that’s okay. Look for physical cues as to how they’re feeling and focus on giving the best makeover you can. Be gentle, patient, and willing to stop if you notice any signs of distress.

The most important thing for all GlamourGals to know is that when a situation is too much for you to handle on your own, step away and look for someone of authority. Whether it is your chapter advisor, a nurse, a receptionist, or anyone who works at the facility. Step back from the situation and find someone to help you.

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It is okay to take a minute to yourself or ask to be excused from the makeover. Makeovers are supposed to be fun for everyone involved. Take a deep breath and return when you’re ready.

To be the best president you can be, be there for your chapter and the seniors in your community. And let your chapter be there for you: Always have your co-leaders by your side to delegate tasks so the stress is not always on you. And of course, give GG National a call or text at 631-525-3339 or email us at contact@glamourgals.org if you ever need help.

And finally, our last question comes from Lissette in NY:

Can GG Chapters collab with other chapters? Can we have GG Alumni or leaders visit our chapter and explain the movement?

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Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

GG National is NYC-based and we love visiting our NY chapters and seeing how you all are doing! Contact us through contact@glamourgals.org or call us at 631-525-3339. If there are any opportunities for us to speak about GlamourGals at your school, we would love to hear about them and arrange a time to visit!

And if you want to reach out to other chapters...

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On Chapters.GlamourGals.org,  there’s a tab at the top labeled Chapters. When you click it, it can show you a map of all the GG chapters across the nation.

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You can see for yourself where other chapters exist and you might be surprised to learn that another chapter has been near you all along! They might even go to the same senior facility.

With enough time for planning, we at GG National can connect you to other chapter leaders and help you plan a MegaMakeover, where both your chapters can meet and develop new GG Friendships and expand your GG team!

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This is why we host GG National events like GLTI! For volunteers to have the opportunity to meet other chapters and learn to share their love of GG together. So if you have any interest in hosting a MegaMakeover with another chapter, reach out to us at GG National and continue attending our GG National Events to meet other GlamourGals who may also have interest in teaming up.

That’s all for now!

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All GlamourGals can earn a service hour by answering this journal prompt:

What has been the most rewarding part of your GlamourGals experience this year?

I look forward to your answers! Email me at chapters@glamourgals.org if you have any questions! I’m here to help!

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GG National