As another year begins, WBOY honors another crop of volunteers from North Central West Virginia.
This month, WBOY highlights a Harrison County woman who turned her profession into a passion.
For 50 years Belva Brown, worked as a hair stylist, owning a salon in Harrison County.
“I like people and I get along well with people and I can talk well with people,” said Brown. “I built my business not by advertising but by people, you know, one person telling another.”
During those five decades, Belva says she provided not only hair cuts, but support to her clients.
“You have to be their friend and you have to be a good listener,” said Brown. “They know they can tell you whatever they want and it’s not going to go any further.”
After Belva retired in 2013 and her mother passed away, she was invited by Amedysis Hospice in Anmoore to take part in volunteer services.
“It’s very very rewarding because they are so thankful that someone has come to be able to make them feel better and that’s the reason why I wanted to do it,” said Brown.
She now spends her retirement days visiting up to five clients a week in their homes, cutting the hair of people like James Layman of Fairmont.
“Everyone likes to look good no matter what shape they are in or how sick they are,” said Brown. “You still want to look nice if you can.”
With each haircut, Belva offers a smile, and words of encouragement.
“Some of them can’t get it out,” said Brown. “And they are glad to see you. They are glad to see somebody. Somebody pleasant. Somebody who laughs.”
Belva says volunteering gives her a chance to meet new people.
She encourages others to give back to their community.
“It is the most rewarding thing that you can do is to see a smile come on someone’s face that hasn’t smiled for a long time and to make that person happy and feel better,” said Brown.