Ever since she was a child in Beirut, Larchmont salon owner Gisele Guerrero (Gisele Salon, 141 Larchmont Avenue) has embraced opportunities to help people in distress.
But as the American Red Cross Westchester Chapter just acknowledged in designating her a “Community Hero” for her Good Samaritan deeds in the County, time and again Gisele puts her talents to work on behalf of people in need in bold and heartwarming ways.
“We’re all connected, one way or another,” Gisele explains. “Many of us would like to help people in need, but are afraid to take action. If you approach problem-solving step by step, persevere despite obstacles, and seek support from all kinds of places, you can make a difference in people’s lives.”
On Thursday, June 17, the American Red Cross salutes Gisele’s compassion and leadership at a special awards program to celebrate individuals in Westchester County who have “dared to make a difference …. ordinary individuals who performed extraordinary acts. They gave hope … and touched more people than they will ever know …” The Good Samaritan work that clinched the award for Gisele is the time and skill she has donated to HOPE (Help Our People Eat) Community Services Center in New Rochelle in the past year.
She began with collecting food and other relief items from friends and clients, for users of the Center’s food pantry. Then Gisele created a team of stylists to give free haircuts and developed a network of donors to provide “goody bags” of personal health care items to the men, women and children of all ages who frequent the Center. Generous contributions from L’Oreal, USA, and packing by Reverend Herron-Piazza’s 9th grade confirmation class at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont made these goody bags possible.
She and her stylists have also given free cosmetic makeovers to women helped by the Hispanic Resources Center (HRC) in Mamaroneck. Gisele’s team also raised over $6,000 in fundraising drives for the Children’s HopeChestWestchester, which helps children and families in crisis, and for Midwives for Haiti, an organization that provides childbirth and maternal education in the aftermath of the earthquake.
The American Red Cross Community of Heroes awards program on June 17 is open to the public. For more information about the awards, and about how to purchase tickets to the program, contact Tricia@HRGinc.net or check www. westchestercounty.redcross.org