Melissa Ann McComas can make people look amazing or terrible, depending on the season. The professional makeup artist applies her talents at weddings, fashion shows and photo shoots. And for a few months in the fall, she creates grotesque creatures and victims doing special effects makeup for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. When she’s not glamorizing (or de-glamorizing) people, however, she volunteers with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.
“I absolutely love the firefighter community,” she said. “There is not one negative person I have met through them, it’s always a positive and fun environment and I am glad I am able to be a part of this great family.”
Melissa first thought about volunteering after seeing how firefighters in Colorado, where some of her family lives, tackled the wildfires in June of 2012. “I wanted to help people the way that those firemen had helped others, so I decided to help the firemen in my own community, that’s when I found [Widows & Orphans] and I’ve been here ever since.”
The work of volunteers helps firefighters in times of crisis. An added perk for Melissa, though, is the joy and gratitude she feels. She said, “[I love] the feeling of being able to help someone that really needs it, and being able to say ‘Thank You’ to the men and women that risk their lives for us every day.”
She enjoys helping out at any event she can, but her favorite memory comes from the LAFD Invitational golf tournament, her first time as a volunteer. “At first I didn’t even know what I was doing, I was so nervous,” she said. “But as soon as I met all of the volunteers and people involved, it felt like home. I have never met so many amazing people at one time.”
She thinks anyone who volunteers with Widows & Orphans will have a good time. She said, “You will have so much fun, while helping people in need. It’s not only volunteering, it’s a family.”
By David Vienna