As 2011 winds down, we all look back to see how we can better our future. And at this holiday time of giving, we at <strong>BlackEnterprise.com</strong> take a look at three entrepreneurs who, this year, used their professional talents and gifts to give back to communities here and abroad. <i>—Janell Hazelwood </i>
Dr. Lee Gause, a head dentist at <a href="http://smiledesignmanhattan.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Smile Design Manhattan</strong></a>, took a trip to Haiti recently to provide back-to-school medical and dental care for children at the Edeyo School.
Dr. Gause's mother, Dr. Suzette Sines, is also a dentist and traveled with him to organize the group of Haitian medical and dental students, as well as pediatricians and dentists, to screen 300 students.
Dr. Gause also lended his professional skills and knowledge for <a href="http://childrenofpromisenyc.org/ " target="_blank"><strong>Children of Promise</strong></a>, an after-school program for kids who have one or more incarcerated parents. He talked with the children about oral health and academic planning for children interested in science and health professions.
Celebrity stylist and owner of <a href="http://www.newcocoamane.com/about/ " target="_blank"><strong>Cocoa Mane Salon</strong></a>, <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2010/08/17/style-biz-how-to-leverage-hair-shows-into-dollars/"><strong>Janel Sealy Smith</strong></a> started <a href="http://cocoamane.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102&Itemid=420" target="_blank"><strong>Healing Through Hair</strong></a> to bring awareness and education to incarcerated women in Trinidad & Tobago.
As part of the facility’s Cosmetology Program/Cosmetology Learning Center, Smith and her staff provide inmates with education on cosmetology and haircare, giving them skill sets that build confidence and can be used upon release—thus helping to lower the prison reentry rate.
To celebrate the success of Healing Through Hair, Smith hosted a special event in Trinidad & Tobago that included exhibits, hair competitions, styling courses, barber classes and other activities that promote awareness and provide educational and career opportunities for beauty professionals around the world.
<a href="https://www.indiquehair.com/ " target="_blank"><strong>Indique Hair</strong></a> co-founder and creative director <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/07/20/black-businesswomen-banking-on-hair/ " target="_blank"><strong>Erika Dotson</strong></a> recently teamed up with Cancer Cares for a day of beauty for 15 women surviving breast cancer. The company brought in celebrity stylists to one of their New York showrooms, who donated their time and skills for the application of 13 of the company’s EUPHORIA Wigs.
After the women got hair makeover, celebrity makeup artists created glam looks for them.
The company has also donated wigs to <a href="http://www.cancercare.org" target="_blank"><strong>CancerCare</strong></a>, an organization that offers free, professional support for anyone affected by cancer, and donated a portion of sales in October to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.