While homeless and suicidal with three children in tow, Vanessa Howard vowed to give back if she ever got on her feet.
Now, Howard successfully runs her own beauty spa business in Tampa, which offers free pampered evenings once a month for homeless and impoverished women in the area.
The small business owner told WFLA,
I was once not having a place to stay with children and having no hope and having no dignity and so that's what inspired me... I had the faith and passion to give back to women who are less fortunate and women who need that uplift in their spirit
At just over $300 per woman, Howard's Giving Hands Beauty Salon runs its complementary spa nights with volunteer helping hands, such as those of her five daughters and aid from the community.
Each woman receives a manicure and pedicure, haircut and eyebrow wax, a facial and a makeover. And the women pray for one another, relying on a spirit of unity and healing to help them succeed.
A makeover could change the course of a job interview or self-image, potentially altering a struggling woman's life.
According to an estimate from Howard, roughly 95 percent of the 50 women the spa helped since last May are gainfully employed now.
And she's certainly always looking for a few more volunteers. If you're in the Tampa area, contact Howard via the Giving Hands website.