ChildHelp: Every child is worthy of love

Helping victims of child abuse is more than just a desire, it is the lifetime commitment for ChildHelp. This commitment began when their founders, two young Hollywood actresses, encountered 11 homeless orphans abroad, and their lives were forever changed. Sara (Buckner) O’Meara and Yvonne (Lime) Fedderson went on to found ChildHelp and is now an internationally respected nonprofit and the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect as well as at-risk children. Though it has grown beyond their wildest dreams, CEO and Chairman, Sara O’Meara, and President, Yvonne Fedderson, who still work every day for this critical cause, have never forgotten those eleven little orphans in a storm that inspired their mission of hope.

And, with the Alice C. Tyler Village located in Lignum, VA, our local children are being served and protected. The Alice C. Tyler Village has served survivors of abuse and neglect since its opening in 1993. Situated on 270 picturesque acres in Culpeper County, the village serves children from across Virginia and West Virginia.

We are honored to partner once again with ChildHelp as our April Community Outreach partner and will be donating $1 from every haircut this April.

Childhelp solutions include residential villages and schools, short term residential therapeutic programs, foster and adoption services, as well as a national child abuse hotline.

FOHA Saving Fury Lives Since 1973 – Our March Community Outreach Partner

Each year, roughly 3 million cats and dogs in the US are euthanized without cause due to an overflow in shelters and a lack in adoptive homes. This March, Salon Khouri is partnering with FOHA (Friends of Homeless Animals), donating $1 from each haircut to this amazing, local non-profit. 

FOHA strives to bring an end to the unnecessary killing of companion animals, to provide a safe shelter for abused and abandoned animals, and to find a permanent, loving home for them. FOHA makes a lifetime commitment to each and every animal they bring into their organization. If at any point after an adoption, the adopter can no longer care for their animal, FOHA will welcome them back into their care and continue to search for a new home. They dedicate themselves to each and every animal, including those harder-to-adopt, and will make sure that they dwell comfortably in an individual space. 

Since 1973, FOHA has saved and placed in permanent homes more than 16,000 cats and dogs that would have otherwise been abandoned or killed. This success is the legacy of Anne Lewis. In the late 1960s, Anne was involved in an animal rescue – when another animal-related organization trapped a feral mother dog and puppies on the family’s property. Although she tried her best to save the animals, they were euthanized by the animal organization who had trapped them. Anne was unaware of the plight of homeless animals prior to this tragedy. So she decided to join a series of rescue organizations to prevent this from reoccurring. But she was unsuccessful in finding an organization that was faithful to a no-kill policy. So Anne founded her own organization, Friends of Homeless Animals, in 1973, and dedicated the remaining 32 years of her life to rescuing and caring for these innocent animals. So join us and FOHA this March to make a difference in our community, and to save countless lives of homeless cats and dogs. 

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, we’ve been jumping in this exhilarating event since 2015 and when I say exhilarating, that’s the kindest way I can put what that cold water feels like in February! And we have a few of our team members jumping this year: Sydney and her husband Taylor, Jelena, Olivia, Matthew, a Salon Khouri client and friend, Charleen, and myself.

Please help our by either making a donation (no donation is too small) OR signing up to PLUNGE with us on the Salon Khouri team! All funds raised will help send children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Camp Sunshine. We are also donating $1 from every haircut we did in January to this effort!

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.

Seven Years …

12.7.2021

Today marks seven years since Mathias Giordano left this world to enter into the eternity of Heaven. We are honoring Mathias’ memory by selecting Team Mathias as our December Community Outreach Partner at Salon Khouri. We will donate $1 from every haircut this December to this amazing, local non-profit.
We couldn’t agree more with the beautiful words penned by Jennifer Skinner:
“I spend a lot of time praying for teens and young adults these days. Just today I prayed for a college kid to do well on a final exam. I prayed that a young high school baseball player – one of the best pitchers and kids I know – would have a successful Tommy John surgery. I’ve prayed for good SAT scores and college acceptances, for internships and promising job opportunities, for solid friendships with new classmates and colleagues and for seamless adjustments to new schools, new towns, and new jobs. I always end those pleas with prayers for these young men and women to have – more than anything else – confidence, resilience, faith, and bravery in the face of any of the challenges they might meet.
Today as I prayed those prayers I remembered Mathias Giordano – a boy who was the epitome of confidence, resilience, faith, and bravery and who also, I might add, had a wicked sense of humor and a smile for the ages.
Mathias did not get the chance to continue his athletic endeavors into high school, much less college. He didn’t get the chance to take the SAT, to apply to college, to cram for finals in a dorm room, to kick ass in a job interview, or to move to a new city all on his own. Because cancer stole him on this day in 2014.
And yet, in his short life, he showed me what matters the most in all the world. And though, they are amazing, it’s not a 1400 on the SAT or an A on an exam. It’s not an athletic scholarship or a paid internship in New York City.
Instead, it’s courage, faith, family, friends, and smiling. He taught me a whole lot about smiling.
You were one of a kind, kid. I’m thankful that our paths crossed, if only in those handful of moments over that short period of time. It didn’t take you long to do what you needed to do, to teach what you needed to teach, and to shine that smile on those who needed you to smile at them.
God bless and be near to you tonight, Roya, Chris and Troy.”

Our November Community Outreach Partner: 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.

We are honored to once again be supporting Boulder Crest Foundation this November and are donating $1 from every haircut we do this month to this wonderful local, non-profit. 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. Other ways you can help are to purchase tickets to the Bluemont Vineyard Love Local event on December 2nd where they will be lighting 30,000 lights at the vineyard. A portion of the proceeds will go to Boulder Crest Foundation.

ChildHelp: Transforming the Lives of Abused and Neglected Children

Helping victims of child abuse is more than just a desire, it is the lifetime commitment for ChildHelp. This commitment began when their founders, two young Hollywood actresses, encountered 11 homeless orphans abroad, and their lives were forever changed. Sara (Buckner) O’Meara and Yvonne (Lime) Fedderson went on to found ChildHelp and is now an internationally respected nonprofit and the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect as well as at-risk children. Though it has grown beyond their wildest dreams, CEO and Chairman, Sara O’Meara, and President, Yvonne Fedderson, who still work every day for this critical cause, have never forgotten those eleven little orphans in a storm that inspired their mission of hope.

And, with the Alice C. Tyler Village located in Lignum, VA, our local children are being served and protected. The Alice C. Tyler Village has served survivors of abuse and neglect since its opening in 1993. Situated on 270 picturesque acres in Culpeper County, the village serves children from across Virginia and West Virginia.

We are honored to partner once again with ChildHelp as our April Community Outreach partner and will be donating $1 from every haircut this April.

We’d love to share with you Aiyanna’s story. Aiyanna survived brutal abuse, but Childhelp was there to transform her broken body and spirit. Through intensive therapy, the child who once had terrible nightmares began to giggle in her sleep. Meet the professionals and loving family that helped Aiyanna, a little girl who likes to build dream catchers, rebuild her dreams for a brighter future.

Four Paws Up for our February Community Outreach Partner: Heeling House

Heeling House is one of the pioneers in the field of Animal Assisted Interactions (AAI).  Since 2013, Heeling House has been providing Animal Assisted Interactions for children with special needs in local schools, libraries, hospitals, and therapeutic centers in the Northern Virginia Area.

We are honored to once again support Heeling House as our February Community Outreach partner. We will be donating $1 from every haircut we perform in February to this one-of-a kind, local, non-profit.

At its center in Sterling, Heeling House provides a variety of programs to meet children’s needs, from infancy through high school. The Heeling House Center offers animal assisted therapy, social skills groups, social clubs for teens, occupational therapy, reading therapy, summer camps, and obedience and therapy training for dogs. We also breed, whelp, and train service dogs specializing in Psychiatric and Autism task-work. These specially trained dogs learn to recognize behaviors that could lead to self-harm and will interrupt the pattern, keeping the child safe. The dogs provide calming support, for example, leaning against the child or placing their head in the child’s lap or laying over the child. These interactions benefit not only the child but also the parent as it decreases family stress levels.

Heeling House is excited to announce that their Junior Dog Trainer Camp is back! The Heeling House Junior Dog Trainer Camp is a highly specialized program that accepts eight campers ages 9-14 years each week throughout the summer. In this unique camp, children work hands on with a professional dog trainer and spend the week training dogs in basic obedience in order to help them have a successful journey in life. Camps run Monday – Friday 9am to 4pm.

 

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.