Our June Community Outreach – Help Us Bridge The Gap

FoodBridge_logoThis June, Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut to Our Daily Bread Fairfax in support of their Food Bridge program. Also, upon checkout, you can donate $1, $3, or $5 toward this program.

With the down economy, many Fairfax families are struggling. Luckily, Our Daily Bread Fairfax is there to help. Our Daily Bread identifies and addresses the unmet fundamental needs of Fairfax area residents and empowers the community to help these neighbors maintain self-sufficiency. They are a volunteer-based organization focused on easing the plight of low income residents in Fairfax County, drawing volunteers from local faith-based groups, community organizations, local businesses, schools and universities.

We specifically are reaching out to help Our Daily Bread’s Food Bridge Program, which provides short-term food assistance to Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet – helping them bridge the gap until they can achieve self-sufficiency. Needy families are referred to the Program by social workers, and generally receive assistance for approximately four to six months. Some clients receive emergency assistance once or twice to get them through a brief crisis.

Here’s how it works, with every haircut the month of June, Salon Khouri will donate $1 toward the purchase of a gift card for the Food Bridge program. Gift Cards allow Our Daily Bread’s clients to meet the specific dietary needs of their family, which many times includes managing specific food allergies. Grocery store gift cards also allow parents to make good nutritional choices for their children that include fruits, vegetables and dairy items that cannot be stored at the ODB panty. In addition, grocery store gift cards help Our Daily Bread’s clients to practice newly acquired financial management skills in getting the most out of every dollar they spend for food. Their Food Bridge Supporters collect and deliver either non-perishable food items and supplies or grocery cards to 30 of their Food Bridge clients each Sunday.

The goal of the Food BRIDGE is to take Our Daily Bread’s clients from a place of crisis to a place that is stable where food insecurity is concerned. Our Daily Bread helps their clients make good choices, teaches them how to manage resources and to go forward with new skills in being informed consumers.

If you would like to volunteer to help deliver food to families, please contact Christina Garris of Our Daily Bread Fairfax at 703-273-8829.

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer – Help Us Spread the Word

Those of you who have been long-time Salon Khouri enthusiasts know our passion for helping children with pediatric cancer. We recently became aware of a grant program from Wella, the color line we use at the salon, called Hairdressers at Heart. This program will donate $10,000 to a salon’s charity of choice. I immediately emailed Mike Gillette, long-time pediatric cancer advocate and the guy behind The Truth 365 to share the information with him and to see if he had any ideas. As usual, Mike came up with a great idea that will not only help raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer funding, but also gets children directly involved in helping. The program is called Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer.

Here’s where we need your help. We are just asking you for help with two simple things:

  1. First, we need you to vote, daily, until May 15th, to help us win the $10,000 grant for The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. Winning the grant will directly fund pediatric cancer research. Not many people realize that there is a severe lack of funding for pediatric cancers, particularly when compared to funding for adult cancer research. In fact, most drugs given to these little guys were developed for adults 20-30 years ago, and never tested on children. These kids need donations from grants and private donors to help them win their fight against cancer with tools made for them. These kids need current medicines designed for them to fight their specific cancers. Many children with cancer are oftentimes made more sick due to the toxicity of the drugs given to them to help them fight cancer.
  2. Second, if you have kids in school, or know someone who does, please see if your school would be open to having a Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer. It’s a simple, kids helping kids, no frills fundraiser. We have two flyers available that you can print and bring to your school’s administrative office. For more information on scheduling a Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer at your school, please email info@thetruth365.org. We have one flyer for preschool and elementary schools, and one for middle and high schools. Again, every dollar raised from your Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer fundraiser will directly fund pediatric cancer research.

Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut the month of May to The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. We would love for you to make donations in the amount of $1, $3, and $5 at checkout as well! Also, if your little one would like to stop into Salon Khouri to have a little pink, blue or purple Eufora Creative Streak sprayed into their hair for their Crazy Hair Day, we’d love to help them out at no cost! The spray washes out and is non-toxic. Just give us a ring at 703.273.7878 to let us know you are coming by. And, if your school agrees to do a fundraiser, let us know as well. We would love to send a stylist out to help make kids hair crazy, again, at no cost!

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer

Update 5/25/2013:

We were so thrilled to be invited to Let’s Talk Live to share information about Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer. You can watch the video here.

Our April Community Outreach is ….

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Growing up, I didn’t think about where my food came from. And sadly, I have to say the same about my twenties. Then, I started a family, and pregnant with my first child, I started to question everything I put into my body. Where did it come from? How was it grown? Was it sprayed with any chemicals? I began to venture out, starting small. I watched a documentary called Fresh, and was blown away by a guy named Joel Salatin. The way he argued his points and explained his passion for sustainable farming draws you in. His vocabulary is eloquent, and his speech is lyrical, forcing you to want to listen. You can see a glimpse of it here, but if you just search Joel Salatin on YouTube, you can find a plethora of interesting videos from Joel. I began ordering meat from his farm, Polyface Farm located near Charlottesville, VA. Polyface delivers to various host sites in Northern Virginia on a monthly basis.

After baby #2, I discovered Fields of Athenry on a Saturday afternoon drive with the kids while Jonathan was busy at the salon. I met the owner, Elaine on our visit there. She shared a lot of great information with me, but what I remembered most was her caring nature. One of her chickens had just had baby chicks. She showed my children and let them hold one of the chicks, then explained how they hatch. She also took them outside and had one of her girls set us up with feeding the baby lambs. I quickly made visiting FOA farm a Saturday tradition that summer, taking the kids to see the animals and learn about where food comes from as well as picking up delicious, fresh meats for the week.

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Through my continued exploration of Virginia farms, I signed up for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), finding a winter CSA through Moutoux Orchard. (It’s now a year-round food club). Rob at Moutoux grows the most delicious, chemical free peaches I have ever eaten. I discovered another farm from a friend right next to Moutoux called Chicama Run. Dana, the owner and operator of Chicama Run is an amazing woman. I am not even sure if amazing is a big enough word to describe Dana. She cares for her farm, for her family, and for her community. She truly, truly cares about what you feed yourself. She shares a ton of great information on her blog and Facebook page. A great part for the kiddos about visiting her farm is being able to feed all the free range chickens!!

If you haven’t guessed yet, our April community outreach for Salon Khouri is to introduce you to some of these wonderful farmers. Earth Day is later this month and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than thanking these guys for helping care for the earth through better, smarter farming.

We will also be donating $1 from every haircut this month toward a scholarship to help send a lucky individual to a Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar where Joel helps teach others sustainable farming practices. If you’d like to donate, you can do so through our Community Page.

* updated 5/25/2013, in lieu of sending someone to the Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar, we donated to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Have you got some spare change?

Our March community campaign is to help raise money for the Kids Helping Kids Stop Hunger drive. Please take a moment to watch this brief video to learn more. We are so very encouraged and inspired by these little guys doing what they can to help others!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK6la8b97tc]

Please remember to drop your quarters in our collection jar at the front desk. We will also donate $5 from every kids haircut in March to this worthy cause.

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision of a world without hunger and a mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program provides volunteers the opportunity to package dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used primarily to support development programs and to save lives in developing countries around the world.

Can we introduce you to an amazing woman?

Minu taking care of herself and her heart -- working hard on the treadmill.

Minu just six months after open heart surgery

I was flipping through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago and saw a slightly blurry picture of a beautiful woman on a treadmill. I’ve shared the photo with you above so that you can hopefully see what I did. There was something about her smile and the happiness dancing in her eyes. She had a look about her like she was ready for an adventure and her demeanor is not just inviting you to go with her, but daring you to. My eyes then glanced at the text above the photo in the Facebook feed: “Who would have known my mom had open heart surgery 6 months ago! Amazing.”

I nearly fell out of my chair and I had to know more. I asked my friend if she would mind bringing her mother in for a little bit of well-deserved pampering at Salon Khouri so that I could talk to her and learn more about the woman behind the mischievous grin.

Minu is 66 years old. She’s been battling high blood pressure for over thirty years. Over the last several years, she has been struggling with bouts of severe depression. During a visit to her cardiologist in 2012, it was discovered that her left main artery was 98% blocked. The scan also revealed that her aorta was about to tear. This came as a complete shock to Minu and her family. Quick to take action, the family met with the Medical Director of Cardiac Surgery of Inova Fairfax Hospital, Dr. Alan Speir, who soon after performed open heart surgery on Minu to save her life. During recovery,  both of Minu’s lungs completely collapsed and Minu was placed in ICU where she fought for her life. But, as you may have noticed from Minu’s grin, she’s a fighter. Just six days later, Minu was on a path to recovery and was released soon after. She began cardiac rehab sessions every other day for three months, and now visits for follow-ups, and to show off her amazing shape!

A gift that Minu serendipitously received from having the surgery is that her depression is now almost subsided. We both chatted about the possibility of the lack of proper blood flow that could have been a major contributor to her depression. I asked her what she now does to remain healthy and she proudly replied that she exercises thirty minutes a day and lifts light weights to keep her heart and body in shape.

As you may know, February is heart awareness month. Last February, we launched a “color for hearts” campaign at Salon Khouri, donating $5 from every hair color to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women fund which we are again doing this year. I fell in love with Minu — her passion, her warmth, her teasing smile and playful eyes. We have nominated her as our role model for women’s heart awareness. Her story is remarkable and her determination is absolutely something that we can all be encouraged by.

Minu after a little pampering at Salon Khouri

Minu after a little pampering at Salon Khouri. Photo by Aliyah Dastour of Alimond Photography.

We love our clients and our community. If you ever have feedback on our salon or our blog posts, please always let us know.

Warmly,

Jennifer Elkhouri
co-owner, Salon Khouri

Have a heart for HART

Our January community effort is to raise money and awareness for a wonderful organization called Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART). We adopted our dog, Bogart, from this organization in 2000. Our experience with them was amazing. The care they put forth for ensuring Bogart was going to a good home was impressive. We hope that we can help this organization out through our salon’s community giving project. Take a moment to browse their website. Who knows, maybe you will find a Bogart to adopt for your family!

Furry friends rescued by HART

Furry friends rescued by HART

For the month of January, we will be taking donations at the salon for HART. We will also be donating 10% from the purchase of all Jennifer’s Silpada sales as well as 10% from the purchase of all Wella products to HART. To purchase a piece of handcrafted, .925 sterling silver Silpada jewelry for this fundraiser, visit Jennifer’s site and be sure to select Homeless Animal Rescue Team as the hostess at checkout.

Help Us Help Danny and Eileen

Eileen and Danny are a wonderfully sweet couple. They work hard, they treat people nicely. They had a nice home, and if you told them this past summer that it would be destroyed by one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the Northeast in over 100 years, they would have laughed and thought you were crazy or drunk … or perhaps crazy and drunk.

Danny and Eileen's Home After SandyBut Hurricane Sandy did come, and she took their home – their entire home, and all of their possessions. Danny was recovering from back surgery at the time. We heard about Danny and Eileen from a friend, Tricia. She told us that she had called to check on her longtime friend after the hurricane and Eileen had explained that they lost everything. Eileen had been on the phone at the time of Tricia’s call, arguing with the insurance company over whether or not the contents of the inside of their home were covered.

That’s when we decided to adopt Danny and Eileen for our December community giving effort at Salon Khouri. It’s our goal to collect money to purchase Lowe’s gift cards for the couple so that they can purchase new appliances for their home once it’s rebuilt.

Let’s help Danny and Eileen out. Let’s help them rebuild their home. Help us show them what big hearts our clients have! We will be helping too. Throughout the month of December, we will be having various promotions to raise money for Danny and Eileen. In addition to the promotions, if you bring a Lowe’s gift card to the salon, we will take $5 off your appointment for gift card donations under $50 and $10 off your appointment for gift card donations over $50.

Laid Off? We’re Here to Help.

Being laid off can make you feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut. It’s personal. And it can oftentimes shake our confidence.

Like it or not, studies have shown that appearance does matter, especially when it comes to landing a job. A study by Beth Winfrey Freeburg Ph.D. and Sally E. Arnett Ph.D showed that “prospective employers‘ and interviewee‘s determination of job fit in part are based on appearance.” The same study references over twenty-five  articles and studies that confer their findings. An article in Elle titled, Is Your Hair Holding You Back, reminded us of the line in the ubiquitous film Working Girl where Tess takes a pair of scissors to her ultra long locks and mile-high bangs, lops them off with one fell swoop announcing, “You wanna be taken seriously, you need serious hair.”

So, we’d like to help. Now through December, if you have been laid off and are currently looking for work, we would like to offer you complimentary hair makeover with one of our fabulous stylists, Kelly Stoneberger. We simply ask that you email us your resume as payment. We will post your resume on our Facebook page in the hopes that one of our fans can help.

We believe, and I mean we truly believe, that looking good boosts confidence. And confidence, along with some solid interview preparation techniques, will help you land your next job.

Pay it Forward in Memory of Casey

We’ve been so inspired at Salon Khouri by the good works of others. And we noticed that when people do nice things for other people, it makes not only us feel good, and the people we help feel good, but it also (hopefully) inspires others to do the same. You know the term, “pay it forward.”

One year ago today, a friend lost her precious little boy to atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare form of brain cancer. He was just 6.5 months when diagnosed and fought until he was 14.5 months. You can read more about Casey here. We wanted to do something to help the family, and asked what we could do. Casey’s mother simply asked for people to perform random acts of kindness to honor Casey’s memory. She asked, “Donate anything to any charity in his name, help an elderly person carry their groceries out to their car, mow the lawn for the old lady down the street, anything you may not normally do but can do within your means.”

She also asked that people post what they’d done for others on Casey’s CaringBridge site. To honor Casey on the one year anniversary of his passing, we ask that you do something kind for someone today. To help lift the family during this difficult day, we would love for you to post your random act of kindness to their CaringBridge site.

Thank you, as always, for helping! Our clients are kind, as is evident in the many charitable efforts you have helped us with over the past seven years.

Warmly,

Jennifer and Jonathan Elkhouri