Freezin’ for a Reason – Supporting Camp Sunshine this January

Jennifer Elkhouri

For years, I’ve seen coverage of what I consider complete nut jobs jumping into FREEZING cold water in the dead of winter. I have always thought, “Why would anyone ever do that?” Then, I heard about the Virginia Polar Dip … and how it can help children battling cancer. Sold. I will do just about anything for these children. They endure treatments that are outdated due to lack of funding — in fact, only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s research dollars are allocated to childhood cancer research. So, I figured the least I can do is jump into some ice cold water, scream as I am doing so, and maybe cry a little afterward, but most importantly, raise money and awareness.

Well, I’ve been doing that each year since 2015 (with two exceptions: 2018, I had the flu and 2019 the event was not held). This year, due to COVID, the event will be virtual, but YES, I will still do something crazy outside involving freezing cold water. But this year, more than ever, Camp Sunshine needs OUR help.

Please help me by either making a donation (no donation is too small) OR signing up to PLUNGE with me on the Salon Khouri team! You just need to have your frozen experience Feb 6th – 14th. A few ideas for you to participate: make a snow angel in your bathing suit; have a winter water balloon fight (just make sure the balloons aren’t frozen — ouch!); fill up a kiddie pool and go for a quick dip; run through sprinklers or get sprayed by a hose. All funds raised will help send children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Camp Sunshine.

2015 Polar Dip Cutting the Ice

Gotta cut through the ice first … 2015

 

2015 Polar Dip Jump

2015 Polar Dip Jump

 

2016 Polar Dip Jump

 

2016 Polar Dip Team

 

Our 2017 team

 

Our son who jumped on my behalf in 2018 because I had the flu.

 

2020 Post Jump – adrenaline was keeping us warm … for about 2 minutes.

Team Mathias – Our December 2020 Community Outreach Partner

We are honored to tell you about our December community outreach partner, local non-profit, Team Mathias.  We will be donating $1 from every haircut this month in support of Team Mathias and the ongoing childhood cancer efforts undertaken by Team Mathias, founded in his precious memory. Mathias Giordano was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in July 2012 at the age of 11. For 29 months, Mathias endured biopsies, a port placement, 30+ rounds of high dose chemo, 3 major lung surgeries, amputation of his right leg below the knee, 27 rounds of radiation and a number of clinical trials. He battled cancer with the courage, spirit and strength of someone much older and he touched the hearts of everyone who met this fierce warrior fighting for his life. And through it all, Mathias refused to let cancer define him. He was,  to the end, the author of his own journey. Mathias decided on December 7, 2014, at 5:00 in the evening, that it was time to leave this world. He is missed every day by those who knew this courageous young warrior.

A legacy of Mathias is the Virginia Cure Childhood Cancer licence plate. Mathias wanted others to know about childhood cancer so Mathias’ family and friends worked with Delegate Tag Greason (R-32nd) to pass the Mathias Bill. “The Mathias Bill passed the House earlier by a vote of 98-0,” Greason told the Times-Mirror. “It has been amazing to watch Mathias’ vision become a reality and it is inspiring to know a small child can make such a huge impact.”

Another of Mathias’ ideas for spreading awareness was to do random acts of kindness, to pay it forward to others. We ask that you consider performing a random act of kindness this December in honor of Mathias and, if you post about it, please use the hashtags #PayItForward and #MathiasStrong.

Please take the time this December learn more about the facts on childhood cancer. Visit the Take Action page on the Team Mathias site and help spread the word. You could also participate in their Adopt-A-Family program to help directly support a family fighting Childhood Cancer. Last year, in 2019, Team Mathias was able to load up 4 SUVs from top-to-bottom with gifts for families in treatment or bereaved families.

Supporting veterans through Boulder Crest Foundation

Boulder Crest Foundation

A suicide epidemic claims the lives of 20 service members and veterans every day, and more first responders die by suicide than in the line of fire. Millions of other combat veterans and first responders live lives filled with despair, battling PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The current mental health system, with its reliance on a one-size-fits-all approach of pharmaceuticals and talk therapy, has failed to address the nature and scale of this challenge.

Enter in our November Community Outreach partner, Boulder Crest Foundation, a leader in the field of posttraumatic growth for veterans and first responders, as our November Community Outreach partner. The mission of Boulder Crest Foundation is to facilitate Posttraumatic Growth through transformative programs, world-class training and education initiatives, along with research and advocacy efforts to help combat veterans, first responders and their families overcome trauma.

The organization was founded in 2011 and opened its first center in 2013. It is led by founder and chairman, a 21-year combat veteran Ken Falke, retired Master Chief Petty Officer from the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) community. Ken is world-renowned as a forward-thinking, creative leader in the field of wounded warrior care, military and veteran transition, counterterrorism, military training, and innovative technology development. 

Boulder Crest Foundations programs support warriors, couples and caregivers, and families by providing rest and reconnection. One of their programs, Warrior PATHH, is a transformative, lifelong, Posttraumatic Growth-based training program for combat veterans and first responders. The training begins with a 7-day on-site initiation that is followed by 18 months of training delivered by our instructors through their myPATHH platform. 

Boulder Crest Foundation has a speakers’ bureau that includes Ken and Co-Founder Josh Goldberg as well as the institute’s professional team. This resource provides speakers and presentations to interested businesses, community groups, military units and schools. Speaker representatives have trained active duty military, veterans, first responders, and civilians at organizations including COMSUBPAC, SEABEES, SVAC Sierra Vista Area, U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, Rotary Club of Winchester, Warrior Reunion Foundation, Semlec Police Mobile Operations Division, Accenture Federal Services, Leadership Loudoun, Shenandoah University, U.S. Marine Corps, United Rentals, and others.

This November, we will be donating $1 from every haircut we do to the Boulder Crest Foundation. In addition to your support through your visits to Salon Khouri, you might also consider visiting the Boulder Crest website to become more familiar with this amazing, local non-profit. 

Tigerlily Foundation Won’t Stop Fighting – Our October Community Partner


Every person on the Salon Khouri team has known someone who has battled breast cancer. It’s an awful disease that affects millions of women worldwide. The rates of breast cancer affecting younger women, aged 15-45) is on the rise. Thankfully, Tigerlily Foundation, a 501(c)(3) international nonprofit organization headquartered in Reston, Virgina, meets their specific needs. Tigerlily Foundation provides education, advocacy and support to young women before, during and after breast cancer. Its outreach focuses on the breast cancer community as a whole and includes family, friends, health advocates, physicians, researchers and more.

Virtual Pink Boa 5k

Any woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer clearly understands the wide range of emotions, physical symptoms, financial impact, conflicting opinions, and the entire roller coaster ride of breast cancer. Tigerlily provides much needed emotional support during this time.

This month, Tigerlily Foundation is hosting its premier Virtual Pink BOA 5K. We’d love you to join the Salon Khouri team between October 1 – 31, 2020. To join our team go to (insert our link). You can walk 1 

mile, run 3.2 miles or bike 11.8 miles. And, you can track and upload your results using your Apple Watch or FitBit. Be sure to share on social media with #TigerlilyFoundation and #SalonKhouriLove.

This October, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut we perform to Tigerlily Foundation.

Our September Community Outreach Partner Just Hit This Amazing Milestone!

If you have been with us at Salon Khouri for some time you will recognize Ellie’s Hats, a nonprofit founded to brighten the day of children with cancer through donating not just hats but other items to children and their families. We chose Ellie’s Hats once again as our local non-profit community outreach partner for September 2020 and we will be donating $1 from every haircut to this amazing organization. 

In 2019, Ellie’s Hats launched an initiative, partnering with Pediatric Specialists of Virginia (PSV), to identify five local families in need of financial support each month, and to donate $1,000 to those families. On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Ellie’s Hats delivered five checks, pushing the organization’s total donations to a $100,000 milestone! 

In the words of founder, Jay Coakley, “More than anything, this [milestone] is a reflection of what is possible when we all come together to support a greater cause.” Dr. Christopher Lawlor, PSV Philanthropy Chair and Medical Director of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, added, “Ellie’s Hats keeps our kids and their families covered, from the hats on their heads to the financial support in their homes. We are appreciative of their support. Ellie’s Hats understands the financial impact childhood cancer can have on families. They are always there with support.”  

Ellie’s Hats was founded as a 501 (c)(3) in 2014 after Ellie started kindergarten at the Woodburn Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia. Ellie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in spring 2013. By the time she entered kindergarten she had lost most of her hair and was always wearing hats to school. 

Her teacher, Jay Coakley, noticed she had an affinity for ‘fun and cheery hats.’ He organized a hat drive to provide her with a broader selection of hats to wear and thus Ellie’s Hats was born. 

Please take a moment to visit the Ellie’s Hats website to see how you may be able to help.

Bringing Freedom Through the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative

FAITH. JUSTICE. FREEDOM

Human trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime in the U.S. This August, we have partnered with Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative (NOVA-HTI), a local, Christian nonprofit combatting human trafficking, as our community outreach partner. The mission of NOVA-HTI is to prevent human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, disrupt related networks, and restore those impacted. Their strategy is to network, serve, pray, and create awareness to mobilize the local Church and community to make a difference in its own neighborhoods and ultimately, eradicate human trafficking in Northern Virginia. NOVA-HTI stands on the front lines of human trafficking by connecting with the public, law enforcement, service providers, and volunteers to identify those being trafficked and provide intervention, crisis response and aftercare services. NOVA-HTI uses a trauma informed case management system requiring extensive training and re-training of their volunteers who work with victims to help them begin to trust again and who assist them in their long journey to freedom and healing and has served as a model across the nation to empower communities to recognize and eradicate trafficking.

In 2010, Congressional Representative Frank Wolf asked the local faith community to be involved in the fight against human trafficking in Northern Virginia. The Pastors Consortium, a local group of church leaders, heeded this call by forming a team call the Loudoun Human Trafficking Task Force. They decided the best way to fight human trafficking was to serve those already in the fight, such as government agencies, non-profits, and service providers, by funneling community members and resources to them and by creating awareness within the community. In early 2013, the group re-branded itself as the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, officially becoming a 501(c)3 organization.

Please join us in supporting NOVA-HTI organization by either considering a volunteer role or by donating to the cause, and by supporting them in prayer. We are donating $1 from every haircut we do in August toward this invaluable, local nonprofit.

Human Trafficking Stats

In the U.S., trafficking is widespread in major populations such as New York, California, and Texas. The North to South highway corridors along both coasts are also extremely popular travel routes for
quick exits to and from the U.S. Almost 80 percent of human trafficking is for sex while 19 percent is to exploit labor. There are in fact more human slaves in the world now than ever before in our
history. There are estimated to be 27 million adults and 13 million children who are victims of human trafficking. A startling fact is that human trafficking can include but does not require movement. There
are examples within communities where victims are enslaved through coercive and deceptive practices into a life of involuntary servitude including forced labor and debt bondage.

Another devastating effect of COVID-19 is the recent increase in Child sexual abuse images and online exploitation surge during pandemic. World Population Review indicates that so far in 2020 in Virginia there have been a reported 198 trafficking cases or 2.3 per 100,000 population.

 

Windy Hill Foundation – our July community outreach partner

Our July community outreach partner is non-profit Windy Hill Foundation, located in Middleburg, Virginia. The foundation’s mission is to provide affordable, decent and safe housing for low and lower-income individuals, families, elders and adults with disabilities in both Loudoun and Fauquier Counties. The foundation provided 310 housing units in Loudoun and Fauquier in 2019 and supported no-cost onsite resident programs and services for those living in Windy Hill Foundation communities.

On-site programs consist of after-school academic and social programs, an eight-week drop-in summer day camp, tutoring programs during the school year, family, personal enrichment, social and health

programs for younger and older adult residents through committing $200,000 annually, alongside many generous organizational and individual donors and grantors from surrounding communities and the greater Washington DC area. The overarching goal of these programs is to help residents move from affordable to market rate housing.

Conceived in the mind and spirit of Irene (Rene) Llewellyn, a Middleburg resident born in England, the foundation began when Rene was waiting to pick up a child for a music lesson and witnessed the poverty on Windy Hill. She was so impacted that she was determined to help improve local living conditions along with a friend, Edna Washington. Rene’s plans blossomed from a  group of community members who formed the Windy Hill Foundation Charter Board, to include raising enough money to purchase the properties and then use Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds to pay for renovations of the homes. Over a 10-year initial revitalization period the community of 15 families who shared six outhouses and two cold water spigots transformed into totally renovated homes with water and sewer lines. The foundation realized during this initial time frame that the problem of inadequate, sub-standard housing and poverty was far greater than the small Windy Hill community.

By year twenty-five, 47 rental units throughout Middleburg had been acquired and renovated. By the 25th anniversary Windy Hill Foundation had built 186 affordable housing units throughout Loudoun Fauquier Counties. Rene’s dream went beyond housing to improving the resident’s needs and her philosophy drives the vision of Windy Hill today. 

During our July sponsorship period, Salon Khouri will donate $1 for every haircut we do and we encourage all of you to visit the Windy Hill Website to learn how you can help in other ways, including volunteering and direct donations.

Kate’s Cause – Until Childhood Cancer is Extinct

Another June has arrived. Precious Kate Rhoades should have turned nine years old on June 5th this year. She should be running through her backyard smelling honeysuckle and chasing fireflies and looking out of her glass front door screen for foxes. Instead, her life was unfairly stopped short at just four and a half years young after a sudden and unexpected relapse of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

We vowed to the Rhoades family to tell her story, to do what we can to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and to perform Random Acts of Kateness in Kate’s memory. As a salon, we have also committed to donate, each June, $1 from every haircut we perform at Salon Khouri to Kate’s Cause, the foundation that Lindsay and Michael Rhoades created in Kate’s memory. Kate’s Cause is dedicated to raising awareness about childhood cancer, raising funds for less toxic treatments and ultimately a cure for childhood cancers, and giving back to the childhood cancer community. 

We encourage you to visit Kate’s Cause to learn what you can do to help beat childhood cancer. We also ask that you perform Random Acts of Kateness to honor Kate during June (#RandomActsOfKateness).  Find a neighbor who needs assistance going to the store or who needs help with their yard work; pay for the car behind you when you go through the drive-thru; offer to pay for a fellow shoppers’ items next time you go to a store. 

Updated Reopening Plans

We are SO excited to be re-opening to our amazing SK Enthusiasts on Tuesday, June 2nd! Please have grace with us as we navigate the next few weeks. We will be operating at a 50% capacity over the coming weeks and by appointment only. Jonelle and Sydney have worked hard these past few weeks to get everyone rescheduled. If we missed getting to you, please know it was absolutely not intentional. We’ve never faced anything like this as a business – and definitely have never had to reschedule this many appointments not once, not twice, but three times for an entire salon. Whew!

Also, for the time being, we will not be offering blow dries – this is just for now. This will help us to get as many of you in as we are able.

If you are ill, we will reschedule your appointment, asking that you not come if you are under the weather.

Please minimize personal belongings being brought into the salon (perhaps just your cell, car keys and credit card). We are offering contact-free check out. Simply call us at 703.273.7878 to provide your credit card number and it will be stored in our secure, merchant processing system.

All of our service providers are Barbicide certified – we are trained and up-to-date on sanitation guidelines from the best in the industry and will be following an enhanced sanitation process in the salon. Our service providers will be washing their hands after every guest and we ask that you wash your hands upon entering the salon or use one of our many hand sanitizers available.

We also ask that you please do not bring guests with you to your appointment to reduce the number of people we have in the salon.

We are SO excited to be serving you again!!!! Thank you, always, for supporting your Salon Khouri team!

Re-opening plans

Hello everyone!

UPDATE AS OF TUESDAY, MAY 12: Governor Northam extended the Phase 1 re-opening to the end of May for Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and Alexandria). Therefore, we are UNABLE to re-open May 15th as we had hoped. This will push our re-open date to Tuesday, June 2nd with capacity restrictions. This is, of course, if the deadline is not extended once again.

 

On behalf of the entire Salon Khouri team, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your loyalty and continued support! And, that we miss you!!!

Based on the Governor’s press conference on Monday, we are planning to re-open Salon Khouri on Friday, May 15th.

We are currently working with our team members to schedule their return-to-work dates. Some may not be able to return immediately due to family/childcare issues or concerns for health, so you will see a phased return to work for some of our team. We ask for grace and patience during this time.

  • Jonathan is returning Tuesday, June 2nd

For the time being, the remaining planned return dates are:

  • Becky, Iwona, Jelena, Heidi and Sydney are returning June 2nd
  • Kamen, Priya, Taylor, Michelle and Olivia are returning June 10th

Our manager, Jonelle Jones, is answering phones Monday – Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM at 703-273-7878. You can also text us at that number. Additionally, you can shoot us an email.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased gift certificates and products while we have been closed. We are continuing to offer FREE local porch delivery of our products (or we can ship for $5) and are drawing THREE winners each week to win a $25 gift certificate from everyone who purchases product or a gift certificate from us while we are closed due to COVID.

We are awaiting further guidance from the Governor’s office, coming this week, which will outline state regulations for salons and spas that will determine how many people can be in the salon any given time. Based on this number, it will limit us to the number of appointments we can accommodate at one time. We will therefore open earlier and stay later in order to get everyone in. We will have a shift from 8 AM to 2 PM and a second shift from 3 PM to 9 PM.

Additionally, please note the following:

  • Online booking will be turned off through June as of now. We really need to control the number of appointments we are able
  • We will continue with our increased sanitation efforts in the salon
  • We will continue use of disposable cups for the time being
  • Hand sanitizer available in the salon
  • We will not be offering paper magazines for the next month or two to minimize touchable services
  • We are offering contact-free checkout, if you prefer. To do so, we ask that you call our manager Jonelle at 703.273.7878 to provide your credit card information over the phone that will be stored in our secure, merchant processing system. When you checkout, just let us know we have your card on file.
  • We cannot accommodate walk-in appointments for the next two months
  • If you do not feel well, please call to reschedule your appointment, even at the last minute <3
  • Our team will be asked to stay home if they do not feel well and will be sent home immediately if they do not feel well
  • Our team will be wearing face masks for the time being

Thank you again for your continued loyalty to Salon Khouri. We look forward to serving you again soon!!