By Amber Payne, NBC Nightly News Producer
Every Monday for the past month, Joyce Deliyiannis, a master stylist at D'Spa by Dellaria in Burlington, MA, has come in on her day off to offer free haircuts to clients who are cutting back on expenses due to layoffs. Some need a touch-up for an upcoming interview. Others just relish an opportunity to get out of the house for a little while.
"It may seem like a small thing, but when it's needed, it's big," says Joyce, who has set no expiration date on the recession special and offers the free service to her clients' family members as well.
As Joyce's client Ilene Sapienza put it,"It's more than a haircut -- it's therapy. When you lean back in her chair, she makes you feel important. Her vibrance and energy leave every customer feeling uplifted."
After their haircut, each client writes in Joyce's journal. Some share words of wisdom and encouragement. Others leave their contact information in hopes that the next person in the chair will read about their situation and be able to help.
Joyce's generous sprit has caught on and has motivated others in the community to give what they can. Some clients are paying it forward by donating their own free services ranging from real estate consultations to baby-sitting to computer training. And in a matter of just one afternoon, friends and clients brought by $170 to contribute to the Burlington Community Food Pantry in Joyce's name.
Roberta Damelin, director of the pantry, was overwhelmed with gratitude. Damelin does her part to stretch every dollar that comes in, spending hours bargain shopping and clipping coupons, but with 50 new families to feed in the last six months, she's seen the need for donations grow in these tough times. "We don't turn people away," she says, "but we're overwhelmed."
For more information on the pantry, or to volunteer your time: http://peoplehelpingpeopleinc.org
DSpa by Dellaria Salon
Burlington Community Food Pantry