Helping our wounded veterans through this local-non profit!

Jsalute-heroes-logoonathan and I, and our entire team at Salon Khouri, are humbled by the sacrifice of those in our Armed Services. They risk limb and life for the freedoms that we get to enjoy each and every day in our great nation. We look at guys like Rob Jones, and what he has overcome after losing both legs above the knee in an IED explosion while he was serving in Afghanistan. It’s astounding to think about his courage, absolute grit and utter determination to overcome injury and become truly inspirational to others. I think we sometimes take for granted just how much these men and women — and their families — sacrifice so that we have the freedoms provided for us in our Constitution. In the 241 years since this nation was founded (and in those years leading up to our independence), there have been countless men and women willing to give up comfort and safety so that generations after them would not have to. We may not be a perfect nation, but we are a very good nation striving to be a better one. And we are a nation founded upon the truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We are taking time this month to thank those men and women, through the Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos, who have defended and who continue to defect these rights afforded to us in the United States.

Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos is a local non-profit, but one that serves wounded vets from across our nation. Their mission is to help severely-wounded veterans and families of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn recover from their injuries and illnesses, and to inspire other organizations and the general public to participate in this effort.

Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos has many great programs. One of them is is emergency financial assistance given to our wounded veterans to help pay for necessities such as food and rent.

Their Road to Recovery Conference is a life-changing experience that brings severely wounded troops and their families from all across the U.S. together to encourage hope, healing and to continue on the Road to Recovery.

Through their Employment Initiatives, Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos provides job placement through partner organizations as well as part-time employment for the catastrophically wounded, which provides income through customized jobs for these wounded vets.

It is our honor to partner with Coalition for America’s Hereos this November. We will be donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles location to this amazing, local non-profit.

Transforming the Lives of Young Women: Tigerlily Foundation

“I am a cancer survivor babe. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage I, grade 3 (the most aggresive type), on July 17th of 2007 at age 32.” Tetika

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks before my 31st birthday — invasive ductal carcinoma.” Ahn

“I was diagnosed at 38. I found out it was stage 2-3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma – meaning it was spreading through my left breast and into my lymph nodes.” Theresa

On February 28, 2006, at 4:45 p.m., Maimah was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She had no family history of breast cancer; and was only 32-years old. Maimah Karmo went on to found Tigerlily Foundation.

I made a promise to God that if I survived, I would give my life in service to others. I promised that I would be a vessel for change, a witness and a warrior, committed to transforming the lives of young women, empowering them to become their best advocates, and empowering those diagnosed to use cancer as a catalyst to truly living. -Maimah Karmo

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Did you know that 11,000 American women under the age of 40 will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and that over 1,400 of them will die? That’s where Tigerlily Foundation comes in. They provide education, advocacy and support to women, aged 45 and under, who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Tigerlily Foundation offers programs that range from Education, to Empowerment, to Advocacy, to Support — reaching and touching thousands.

We are proud to once again partner with this amazing, Northern Virginia non-profit and have selected them as our October Community Outreach partner. We will be donating $1 from every haircut this month to Tigerlily. Additionally, we will be offering pink hair extensions and will be donating $1 from every hair extension to Tigerlily Foundation in October.

Our Community Outreach Partner for August & September: The Truth 365

We cannot say enough good things about the work The Truth 365 is doing in the childhood cancer community. Their beautiful (and Emmy award winning!) documentaries and media campaigns (such as this breathtaking one of Kylie Myers) are bringing awareness to a cause that so desperately needs it. Through increased awareness comes increased funding. You see, children *should be* our nations’ priority. Yet, the shocking lack of funding for childhood cancers indicates otherwise. We are sad to again be including this fact in our blog: the National Cancer Institute allocates only 4% of it’s cancer research budget toward childhood cancers. And 4% is simply not enough. Drug companies aren’t allocating research dollars either, as there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes – all of which need to be approached differently. Much of the funding for new therapies are left to be raised by the parents, which is a burden they should not have to bear. Yet, they do, faced with no other options for helping their children. They bike, run, shave their heads, participate in ultra marathons — just about anything they can do — they will to raise money to give to advance research.

We are encouraged by a few amazing breakthroughs in recent weeks. The RACE for Children’s Act became law, which will significantly increase the number of new drugs available to children with cancer as well as increase new research dollars flowing into childhood cancer research. And on August 30, 2017, the FDA approved a groundbreaking CAR T Cell Therapy for kids battling leukemia.

But there is more to do, which is why Salon Khouri will continue to partner with The Truth 365 #UntilChildhoodCancerIsExtinct in honor of Kate, Mathias, AlexGabby, Kyle, Gavin, Chris, Delaney, Casey, Declan, Isabella

We would love for you to spread the word about CureFest, an amazing and FREE childhood cancer event in Washington DC! We will once again be volunteering at the Crazy Hair Day booth! And this year, CureFest has some AMAZING headliners! Sabrina Carpenter, Caly Bevier (Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer pick from last year) and World of Dance qualifier Diana Pombo! Please share this page to let people know about the awesome talent lined up for this year and encourage them to join in being a voice for children battling cancer.

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We are donating $1 from every haircut from both locations in August and September to The Truth 365. You also have an opportunity to help by donating at our front desk where you can fill out a Childhood Cancer Awareness Square to hang in our window to help us #GoGold this September! To read more about the shocking facts of childhood cancer, please read our blog post from last year.

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Alex Inspires Strength …

– Jennifer Elkhouri

Last March, we selected Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation as our March Community Outreach Partner. We shared with you the amazing grit this kiddo had since being diagnosed at age 5 with a Stage IV Wilms Tumor. On June 5th, 2016, we learned the heartbreaking news that Alex had passed after his 7 year battle with cancer. A part of us thinks he was beckoned to heaven by sweet Kate Rhoades for her 5th heavenly birthday so the two could be free, to bask in the glory of our creator — perfectly healed and perfectly whole. Hearing of Alex’s passing was a fierce kick in the gut, learning yet another precious child had lost their battle to the number one disease killer of children — one that is grossly underfunded in research and largely ignored by drug companies.

We love the mission of Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation and wanted to select them once again to be our Community Outreach Partner. The mission of AACCF is to raise awareness and funding for Childhood Cancer Research while providing Christian focused support to the Childhood Cancer Community. They do this through funding research for The Children’s Oncology Group, raising awareness at events such as Cure Fest, rallies and other events, and through their Prayer Pillowcase Project — handmade pillowcases embroidered with a bible verse that have been prayed over by those who make them.

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This July, we are donating $1 from every haircut to this unique, local non-profit. We would love to ask for your help, too! We are collecting fabric for AACCF to donate toward their Prayer Pillowcase Project. Please bring 1 yard pieces of a 100% cotton or a soft cotton blend to our Fairfax or Dulles locations this July.

We’ll also be practicing our push ups in the hopes we can once again join AACCF in trying to beat the Guinness World Record for the most people performing push ups at once. On April 8th, 2017, we attended the 1st attempt which had 1,108 people out of the needed 1,645 people to break the record! Why push ups? Hear the beautiful story shared by Jenni Green, Alex’s mom, on WGTS:

 

To love like Kate …

– Jennifer Elkhouri

Hello dear friends and SK Enthusiasts <3

I am asking you all, from the bottom of my heart, to please read this post. Don’t skip past it. I know each and every one of us are pulled in nine million directions on a daily basis, but please take just a moment to — pause — and take in these words.

I want so much to share Kate’s story to honor her life and her memory. Writing this will likely make me cry. I often cry when I think of Kate and her amazing parents, everything they went through and what they lost because of cancer. But writing this will also make me smile as Kate’s story is a story of love. She was here to LOVE and to show people how to love. And if Kate can impart a smile on even one person today through this post, that would be amazing. And my hopes run large, so I am going to add that we can spread awareness about childhood cancer through this post and even change lives through Kate’s story, here, in these pixels.

Kate was born June 5, 2011. She was a beautiful and perfectly healthy little girl, even if she decided to show up a wee bit early. Kate was ALWAYS surrounded by love at home, with Conan, her crazy dog; her most amazing Gamma as babysitter, and very loving mommy and daddy. And we can’t forget Kate’s Lovey, who went everywhere with Kate. In August of 2013, Kate was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I have said this before and I will say it again — people hear leukemia, and a common response is, “oh, the good kind.” Please correct them — there is no ‘good’ cancer. And the only ‘good’ survival rate is 100%. Kate did amazing through the two years of chemo. There were awful days, and nausea and tears, but her body responded very well to the treatment and she was found cancer free quickly after beginning the treatment protocol for ALL. After her two and a half year treatment ended, Kate LIVED. She went to Disney World on an amazing Make-A-Wish trip. She went to the beach. She visited family. She started preschool!! Just four months after being off treatment, Kate relapsed. Within 15 hours of Kate’s diagnosis of relapse, she was gone. It was absolutely unexpected and a shock to everyone. I still feel like it isn’t real. I wish with my entire being it wasn’t real.

Kate was just four and a half years old when cancer took her, but she and her family have taught me and my family SO. VERY. MUCH. Be humble. Be silly. Love dinosaurs. Be good to your friends. Eat ice cream for breakfast. Love your family intensely. Love your children intensely. Never take one second for granted. Pay it forward. Giggle when you go down slides that lead into pools. Know that those we love who are no longer here are waiting for us, watching over us, but not missing us. Love others.

We will be donating $1 from every haircut this June to Kate’s Cause, in memory of Kate. We will definitely be eating ice cream for breakfast on Kate’s 6th heavenly birthday on June 5th. We would love for you to pay it forward with a Random Act Of Kateness and post on the Kate’s Cause Facebook page using the hashtags #RandomActOfKateness and #SKLove. Also, please plan on joining us at the Keg’s and Corks for Kids Cancer at Bad Wolf Brewery on September 10, 2017. This will be a FAMILY FRIENDLY event and we hope to see you there!

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Our May community outreach partner shares a few facts that can save your child’s life …

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Ashley Renee Thompson lost her life in a singular vehicular accident on June 10, 2003 — she was just sixteen years old. She was an advanced placement student, a competitive gymnast, and loved by her friends and peers. Her mother created The ART of Driving in memory of her daughter to increase awareness among teens and parents of the unique risks faced by young, novice drivers and to impress upon them the need for improved training, increased supervised time behind-the-wheel, and increased parental involvement. The ART of Driving is also advocating for improvements in driver education for our youth and seeks to change the mindset of teens and their parents that tragedies like this “won’t happen to me”.

Teen crash and fatality statistics are absolutely sobering:

  • 48% of all teen driving fatalities were single vehicle crashes.
  • Alcohol and drugs are NOT major causes for these fatalities – representing only 20%.
  • Inexperience and distractions are the leading cause of teen driving fatalities, particularly for 16 and 17-year-olds.
  • 54% of all teen passenger deaths occurred when another teen was driving.
  • The teen brain has not fully developed until the mid 20’s. They are susceptible to distractions, risk taking behaviors, and a limited capacity to multi-task.
  • 80% of crashes involve some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the crash.
  • The majority of teen auto fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Most of those deaths occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • 16 to 18-year-olds have the highest crash rate of any other age group.

So what can you do as a parent, grandparent, Godparent, Uncle, Aunt, friend to help save a child’s life? The Art of Driving has various resources to help. They can assist with starting a Teen Task Force at school or in a youth club or group. They will come speak at PTSA, Teen Night, Driver’s Education classes, SGA or any other interested group to help educate and enable our local youth to be more responsible and aware drivers.

We have once again partnered with The Art of Driving to raise money and awareness for this wonderful, local non-profit. We will be donating $1 from every haircut this May to The Art of Driving. There are a few ways you can help out as well:

  1. Register for the 3rd Annual Survive the 5 (with both 5k and 10k race options) to help raise awareness and support The Art of Driving educational programs and their scholarship fund.
  2. Have your child(ren) sign The Art of Driving Pledge.
  3. Purchase a copy of How the Firefly Got Its Name, written by Ashley when she was just twelve. (If your kids are too old for this book consider a purchase to donate to your local school library).

 

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Birthday Bucket List Ideas

– Jennifer Elkhouri

Birthday Bucket List

A friend on Facebook recently celebrated a birthday and posted his birthday Bucket List — a list of things he would like to accomplish or experience over the next 12 months; with the number of items on the list equivalent to the number of years you are turning the following year. So if you are turning 24, your list will have 25 items on it; if you are turning 80, you will have 79 items on your list. My thinking is: be sure most items on your list are achievable and affordable — OR — limit yourself to twelve really amazing items and focus on doing one per month.

I was really drawn to this idea of a Birthday Bucket List — partly because my friend had some really neat items on his list (get ordained, finally do a respectable flip off a diving board, take boys on their first backpacking trip, surf on the east coast, see my abs, document the whole list), but also because of the definitive time limit to it. Traditional Bucket Lists are so open-ended that many of the experiences aren’t achieved because the list is just “out there” without any time goals. [I’m guilty of this.]

I thought it would be neat to compile a list of 25 ideas for Birthday Bucket Lists — some my own, some borrowed from others (like my friend), and I would love to hear your ideas as well!

  1. Attend CureFest in DC.
  2. Try to recreate a recipe of a dish from your favorite restaurant.
  3. Visit a museum you’ve never been to before.
  4. Visit a small town and learn something about their history.
  5. Have coffee with someone 45 years older or 45 years younger than you.
  6. Visit a new state.
  7. Start a savings account (or, if you are all set in that category, start a savings plan for a child-in-need).
  8. Go see a concert in the summer.
  9. Go for a mile long walk in the snow.
  10. Read a book from Thomas Jefferson’s recommended reading list.
  11. Take a free course from Harvard.
  12. Make a change to your hair color or hairstyle.
  13. Pray for a stranger you meet doing errands.
  14. Teach a child something.
  15. See a ballet, symphony, or opera. If you frequent those already, go see a battle of the bands at a local school.
  16. Commit to serving one day a month for a non-profit or cause near to your heart.
  17. Perform a Random Act of Kateness.
  18. Take a 30 day challenge.
  19. See a play hosted by a local theatre group.
  20. Buy a really nice staple item for your wardrobe.
  21. Watch the sunset.
  22. Watch the sunrise.
  23. Spend an entire day “not connected” (no phone, no internet).
  24. Go see a drive-in movie.
  25. Send a hand-written note to commend a worker at a company who went above and beyond.

I truly believe our creator wants us to live well — not in a selfish sense where we are only living for ourselves. He wants us serve and love others and He also wants us to enjoy the beauty of life that He has created. I think a Birthday Bucket List is a great way to ensure doing that!

 

A little story about a hair salon, a non-profit, and a solar powered ventilation system …

– by Jennifer Elkhouri

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How does a hair salon, a non-profit that serves the adult autistic community and a solar powered ventilation system even go in the same sentence? It almost sounds like one of those, “a duck enters a bar jokes,” right?

We were introduced to Legacy Farms in 2015 after hearing about their agrarian-based job skills training program they were offering for our local adult autistic community. We really liked what Legacy LegacyFarmsLogoFarms was doing and selected them as our July 2015 Community Outreach Partner. This year, Legacy Farms has a special project they’ve asked us to help with, and we are super excited to help!

Legacy Farms is a nonprofit, green care venture providing employment support services and agrarian based vocational training to adults with autism and other developmental and social challenges. In short, Legacy Farms teaches people with disabilities the skills they need for entry level positions in Northern Virginia’s agribusiness and agritourism industries, then connects them with local employers in need of help.

Over the last two years, the Legacy Farms Summer Garden Project has been responsible for placing over a half a dozen individuals with autism at Sunset Hills Vineyard, Tarara Winery, and A Farm Less Ordinary. This year, Legacy Farms is expanding their services to provide year-round programs, beginning with their new greenhouse. Legacy Farms donates 60% of their food to Loudoun Hunger Relief and other local organizations in need; providing year-round growing opportunities is vital to keeping food flowing to those in need and will provide year-round training to our local adult autistic community.

Monticello-Solar-Powered-Ventilation-SystemMany of the participants in the Summer Garden Project have sensory sensitivities — extreme heat and cold can deter them from learning and cause anxiety. And, a greenhouse can get REALLY hot in the Summer. Another challenge Legacy Farms was trying to solve is to ensure their fruits and vegetables flower so that they will produce. Many plants will not flower at temperatures over 85 degrees. Legacy Farms was looking for a way to keep their participants cool and anxiety-free and at the same time, keep the program as green as possible. After extensive research, Legacy Farms decided on a Monticello Solar Powered Ventilation System for the greenhouse. The commercial fan, exhaust louvers and thermostat are all made in the USA. The unit’s capability can produce more than 2 times the needed power to operate the fan at 100%, which allows for future expansion of needed greenhouse options such as lighting and heating.

And here’s where a hair salon, a non-profit and a solar powered ventilation system meet. We are looking to raise $1400 so Legacy Farms can purchase this essential system for their program. We will be donating $1 from every haircut in April to meet the goal which will get us about half way there, but we need YOUR help to reach $1400! You have the opportunity to add a donation at checkout on your visit in April, or you may donate now via the button below:

 

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Helping our neighbors who have suffered brain injuries.

BIS_Woodbridge-6Every day the unthinkable happens … a car accident, a fall, a stroke. For thousands of children and adults in our community who have sustained a brain injury, stroke, or concussion, navigating a way forward after these kinds of traumatic events can be challenging. Brain Injury Services is there to help and has taken a leadership role in developing community based services specifically for residents across Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, and the surrounding counties who have sustained brain injuries. Each year, Brain Injury Services assists over 600 individuals and families to help build the skills and confidence they need to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

We encourage you to take five minutes to watch this video where you can meet and hear from our local neighbors who have been blessed by service from Brain Injury Services.

Our philosophy is simple: No two people are alike. And, since the brain defines each of us, controls how we think, move, act, and feel, no two brain injuries are alike. Brain Injury Services designs a plan based on the needs and goals of each individual. Whether it is finding Sherida a secure place to live or helping Katy’s family find their new normal, Brain Injury Services strives to help all of our clients achieve their best life and dream the impossible.

This March, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to Brain Injury Services to help support our local brothers and sisters who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Please take a moment to visit their website to learn more.

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