KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s a Facebook message that captured our hearts.
A few weeks ago, Chris Alexander wrote to me about his wife Stephanie, a home health care worker who has given her all to her patients for 15 hours a day over the past year.
“She has dealt with patients with COVID for over a year now,” the message reads. “Many of her co-workers left or took a leave of absence to not deal with all of this. Stephanie stayed. That created lots of 10 (and) 12 hour days, lots of work at home after work, just difficult stuff.”
“After a year, it has taken a toll on her and others in health care. … She is emotionally just worn down as well. … I would love to get her made over with a new start to get herself back to being her instead of all the giving out from her.”
We wanted to do something for Stephanie, so we got in touch with local businesses and came up with a special way to say thank you.
It began with a warm welcome from Salon LaRue owner Marti Baker. Baker arranged a makeover for Stephanie who hasn’t been in a salon for more than a year. The salon is located at 7212 Kingston Pike, Suite 101.
“My hair is usually in a pony tail, has been for the last year, which is very unusual for me, but you get in the houses (for home health care) and you’re burning up,” Stephanie said.
While Chris was surprised with a haircut of his own, Stephanie enjoyed the works. Hair stylist Nelly Hall treated Stephanie to highlights, hair style, and makeup. It seems simple, but making Stephanie feel beautiful sends a powerful message.
“Every time you do someone’s hair,” Baker said, “it gives them a whole new look. It gives them courage, it gives them hope, and it gives them dignity, and then it makes them look good.”
“Stephanie, she’s a hero,” Hall said. “That’s the least I could do for her.”
Another locally owned business also stepped up to say thank you. Diana Warner Studio owner Diana Warner provided a beautiful blouse to complement Stephanie’s new look.
“I love it,” Stephanie said. “I love my new look. Love my new top, love my new hair, makeup, very excited,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie and Chris were then treated to a rare evening out with a delicious dinner provided by the thoughtful owners of Seasons Innovative Bar & Grill. The restaurant is giving back despite having a tough year of its own.
“They get up and they do their job diligently, and I believe that through this whole process that we should be changed,” Seasons Executive Chef and owner Deron Little said. “This has been a challenging year for everyone. I know for the restaurant business, the way we look at our daily lives has changed. We want to just bless them and show them how much we appreciate them.”
“Today feels like a hint of the old me maybe coming back which is wonderful, so, thank you all,” Stephanie said with a smile.
Our thanks to the businesses who helped make this happen.