Wendy Marantz Levine

KNX Hero of the Week
Thursday, September 19th
Each week, a group of make-up artists, hairstylists and beauty experts pamper Southern Californians who are battling illness. 

The volunteers are led by our KNX Hero of the Week, who chose to pay it forward, after the death of a family member.  

When Wendy Marantz Levine's younger sister passed away from a degenerative neuromuscular disease, Wendy and her family decided they wanted to do something in her honor.  

"When Melissa was sick, our family was able to arrange for her get her hair, her nails, and her makeup done," Wendy said.

"And Melissa said it just made a huge difference for her. In her words, it made her feel human again. So, a couple of years after Melissa passed, we had the idea for Beauty Bus, and really wanted to be able bring that same dignity that Melissa had felt to families who were sick." 

Beauty Bus has now pampered more than 13,000 clients, offering all types of services for free, including pedicures, haircuts, and make-up. 

"You know, the guys get facials, manicures, shaves," Wendy said. 

Caretakers are included in the free pampering as well. 

Beauty Bus consists of about 250 volunteers from the L.A. area who meet the clients at homes, hospitals, and at special pop-up salons.

At the age of 14, Rachael Gottes was battling leukemia. She says her spirits soared after getting pampered for a special prom event with Beauty Bus. 

"You know, it's a time period when you're a pre-teen and all you really want to do is play with your hair and your makeup," Rachael said. 

"You don't really have that opportunity when you are focusing on all of your medical things. So, it was really lovely to have an event where I could talk to all these volunteers who knew things about hair, and knew things about makeup and treated me like every other pre-teen, which is exactly what I wanted!" 

"It was a really wonderful experience to take a step back from always being in that medical scenario." 

Rachael has now joined the staff at Beauty Bus and admires Wendy for uplifting so many people.

"It takes such a special person to take something so sad and so personal, and really turn it around into something that benefits so many people," Rachael said. "[She] really is a light in so many people's lives. 

Along with the pampering services, Beauty Bus has handed out more than 52,000 "Bags of Beauty." They are full of health and beauty products, tailored for each client and caretaker. 

"The Bags of Beauty have about $150.00 worth of donated full-size products," Wendy said. "It's about leaving something behind, and letting the pampering continue after we leave." 

Wendy adds that Beauty Bus volunteers pay attention to the touch factor when pampering a client.

"It really makes a difference for how people feel about themselves," Wendy said. "There's something about that human touch. That connection." 

Putting a smile on so many faces, during challenging times.

That is why we are naming Wendy Marantz Levine as our KNX Hero of the Week!  Learn more about Beauty Bus at https://beautybus.org/

KNX Heroes is presented by California Resources Corporation, saluting our military veterans, and all of our heroes.

Heather Jordan, KNX 1070 News Radio.