The Beauty Bus

I wanted to write this post to highlight a great organization I have partnered with to enhance the quality of life of those I’ve cared for with chronic or terminal illnesses. When I was doing hospice full time, not by chance, one of our social workers found out about the Beauty Bus. Because of the great work the caring women of the Beauty Bus provide, we would receive great feed back from our patients. It became humorous when during our interdisciplinary team meetings, it would come time to have the social worker’s input as to possible interventions, we’d all say in unison, “we know, The Beauty Bus!” I personally want to thank The Beauty Bus Foundation for the great work they do. I personally have witnessed how they truly increase the quality of life of every person they touch. Please read more about them below and support them by donating your money or time, sharing their information with others or becoming inspired to do the same in your community. 


The Beauty Bus Foundation was founded in loving memory of Melissa Marantz Nealy who passed away the age of 28 from a degenerative neuromuscular disease. Melissa loved a good day at the spa. When her ability to leave the home became compromised, Co-Founder Alicia Marantz Liotta, Melissa’s cousin, was able to schedule in-home beauty services through her connections within the beauty industry. Witnessing the hope, happiness and respite these services brought to Melissa, Alicia and Co-Founder Wend y Marantz Levine, Melissa’s sister, were inspired to launch Beauty Bus Foundation. 


Beauty Bus Foundation delivers dignity, hope and respite to chronically or terminally ill men, women and children and their caregivers through beauty and grooming services and pampering products.

Beauty Bus accomplishes our mission through:

  • In-Home Beauty and Grooming Services:  Beauty Bus’ core program provides in-home beauty and grooming services, free of charge, to patients whose illness or condition prevents them from accessing a salon or spa and their caregivers.
  • Pop-Up Salons:  Beauty Bus creates Pop-Up Salons where patients and caregivers receive a variety of complimentary beauty and grooming services in a setting that promotes support and serenity.
  • Bag of Beauty Program: Beauty Bus gives complimentary Bags of Beauty filled with pampering products to remind patients and caregivers that they deserve to look and feel beautiful.

 Here is an experience of a Beauty Bus volunteer:

“I wish you could have been with me on my Beauty Bus visit yesterday. Then you would understand why I volunteer for this organization and how it always touches my heart.

The client is fairly young to have to experience the health issues she is dealing with. She’s had a stroke, has extremely limited motor functions, and during our visit she was unable to talk. But talking for her was unnecessary. Her face said it all.

She is beautiful! But after her facial, her face glowed and she looked so radiant. I offered her my little pocket mirror so she could see herself and how beautiful she was. We held the mirror together as she smiled and just stared. She continued to stare for a good 5 to 10 minutes until we had to take it away so she could get into bed. As she looked at her reflection, I could see the joy radiating from her eyes and her smile never left her. She smiled through the entire visit. It warmed my heart and touched my soul.

When the professional and I went to say good-bye, surprisingly, she reached for the professional’s hand (which was not easy for her), grabbed it and held it for several minutes as if she didn’t want to let Lynette go. And that smile never faded. I’m wondering if she is still smiling. This touched me so deeply that even now I sit here typing this with tears threatening to cloud my vision.

This is why I volunteer for this amazing organization. To experience the simple pleasures we so often take for granted, and watch in another’s face the precious gift just given. Beauty Bus brings dignity, beauty, joy, some pampering and the gift of knowing they are special.

I love my volunteer work!”


The Beauty Bus Foundation Information:

2716 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 1062

Santa Monica, CA 90405

Phone: (310) 392-0900

Fax: (310) 392-0907



Twitter: @beautybus




Chaos, cancer, family, and love: The value in just showing up

Great article by blogger Ann Brasco (Twitter @annbrasco). A powerful paragraph in her entry which stood out to me reads, “Maybe its about less doing and more just being present. In a world that pushes us to fix, cure, act and immediately alleviate, the value of just being present is often overlooked.” Early in my Family Medicine career and while contemplating doing a fellowship in Hospice and Pallative Medicine a chaplain took me on a visit and taught me the value of just being “present.” Sometimes two souls sharing the same space, the same air, the same warmth is more meaningful than we’ll ever know.

Chaos, cancer, family, and love: The value in just showing up