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. 

Helping feed local families during the COVID-19 crisis

This month has certainly been one that no one could have imagined just weeks before.

We promise to be here for our community, even in this time. Typically, we donate $1 from each haircut to our monthly community outreach partner, but, not being able t

o perform haircuts would then hurt what we are able to give.

We’ve been so honored and blessed by SK Enthusiasts who have been buying gift cards and product from us during this time to show their support for our Salon Khouri team. We wanted to match this love back to our community and will be donating 10 food items to Dulles South Food Pantry for every $100 sold in online gift cards or online product purchases during this time.

We are grateful each day for our team, clients and our amazing community!

With love,

Jonathan and Jennifer Elkhouri

Supporting small business during the COVID crisis and additional measures we are taking

As a follow up to our email from the 13th of March, we wanted to send an update on what we are doing to keep you and our team safe during the COVID-19 (aka, Coronavirus) outbreak. We are working diligently to keep our doors open, gathering wisdom and advice from experts. Also, we have come up with two ideas on how you can support Salon Khouri over the coming weeks: 1) Online Gift Card purchases (2) Online product purchases from Salon Khouri. Please view step-by-step instructions here.

In addition to the guidelines we sent last week (listed below), we are also shifting our schedules as rapidly as we can to ensure we have only ten people, with no more than fifteen people, in the salon at any given time. We are also asking that if you have travelled overseas in the past fourteen days or if you have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 in the last fourteen days, that you reschedule your appointment.

Measures we are taking:

  • Our team is sanitizing surface areas with Lysol (chairs, stations, door knobs, credit card machine, countertops, etc.) after every guest.
  • Our team members are asked to wash their hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 hands frequently throughout the day.
  • We encourage guests to use our restrooms to wash hands with warm soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds as they leave the salon.
  • As of last week, we stopped serving beverages in glasses and mugs but have switched to single-use plastic.
  • As always, we are washing towels after every guest.
  • We are washing capes after every guest.
  • We are refraining from shaking hands or giving hugs – this one is hard for us as we love our guests so much! But, it’s because we love you that we are implementing this policy until Coronavirus has subsided.
  • We will keep front and rear doors of the salon open when we can to keep air circulation fresh. We also have expanded HVAC fans that pull air OUT of the salon that we use when doing keratin treatments or perms that will have running at all times.
  • Our team has been instructed to not come to work if they are feeling even the least bit under the weather.
  • If you feel ill in any way, we ask that you refrain from coming to your appointment. We will not be charging cancellation fees – please just do let us know either via text (703.273.7878), calling us (703.273.7878) or emailing us (saloninfo@salonkhouri.com) so that we do not worry about you!

Also, we are offering $3 flat shipping on any products directly to your home. If you are running low on shampoo or conditioner, please support us, a local small business. More than 80% of your dollars spent at a local business stay within the local community <3. Read here how to place an online order.

Mostly, please know that this time, stressful for so many, will pass. We have a hope that is greater than us, and we trust in the peace of that hope.

Warmly
Jonathan and Jennifer Elkhouri

P.S. We will definitely be hosting a healthcare workers THANK YOU event once this passes. These men and women are incredible in how they are serving our community — putting others before themselves.

Precautions we are taking during the COVID-19 – Coronavirus outbreak

We wanted to take a quick moment to update you on what we are doing to keep you and our team safe during the COVID-19 (aka, Coronavirus) outbreak. We are working diligently to safely keep our doors open, gathering advice from CDC and local healthcare agency guidance:

  • Our team is sanitizing surface areas with Lysol (chairs, stations, door knobs, credit card machine, countertops, etc.) after every guest.
  • Our team members are asked to wash their hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 hands frequently throughout the day.
  • We encourage guests to use our restrooms to wash hands with warm soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds as they leave the salon.
  • As of last week, we stopped serving beverages in glasses and mugs switching instead to single-use plastic.
  • As always, we are washing towels after every guest.
  • We are washing capes after every guest.
  • We are refraining from shaking hands or giving hugs – this one is hard for us as we love our guests so much! But, it’s because we love you that we are implementing this policy until Coronavirus has subsided.
  • We will keep front and rear doors of the salon open when we can to keep air circulation fresh. We also have expanded HVAC fans that pull air OUT of the salon that we use when doing keratin treatments or perms that will have running at all times.
  • Our team has been instructed to not come to work if they are feeling even the least bit under the weather.
  • If you feel ill in any way, we ask that you refrain from coming to your appointment. We will not be charging cancellation fees – please just do let us know either via text (703.273.7878), calling us (703.273.7878) or emailing us (saloninfo@salonkhouri.com) so that we do not worry about you!

Also, we are offering $3 flat shipping on any products directly to your home. If you are running low on shampoo or conditioner, please support us, a local small business. More than 80% of your dollars spent at a local business stay within the local community <3

Mostly, please know that this time, stressful for so many, will pass. We have a hope that is greater than us, and we trust in the peace of that hope.

Warmly
Jonathan and Jennifer Elkhouri

P.S. We will definitely be hosting a healthcare workers THANK YOU event once this passes. These men and women are incredible in how they are serving our community — putting others before themselves.

Heeling House – our February Community Outreach Partner

Heeling House, Inc. 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.

At its center in Sterling, they provide 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 a 501(c)3 and provides services for the entire DMV area. Please help spread the word about this valuable service for children with special needs. Check out their website at https://heelinghouse.org/. Salon Khouri is honored to be donate $1 from every haircut this February to Heeling House from our Fairfax and Dulles Landing locations.

Freezin’ for a Reason in 2020

This is our fifth year jumping as a team into the ice cold water of Lake Anne. But, we sort of have a soft spot for kids, particularly kids fighting life-threatening diseases such as cancer. We encourage you to join our team and jump with us on February 3rd! Or, make a donation to support our jump. No amount is too small! We have learned that little makes big and appreciate every dollar you donate to support Camp Sunshine.

2017 Salon Khouri VA Polar Dip Team

This year, we are again jumping in memory of precious Kate Rhoades. Kate was just four years old when she lost her battle to leukemia on Jan 12, 2016 after a sudden and unexpected relapse. To know Kate was to love her. Her sweet little smile and curiosity about life was contagious. We will never forget her and are honored to jump in her memory so that we can share her story with others.

Adorable Kate.

Adorable Kate.

100% of money raised goes to send local families who have children battling a critical illness for a week of respite to Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine provides encouragement, relaxation, joy, and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families from around the world through the various stages of their journeys. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Camp Sunshine also provides bereavement sessions for families who have lost a child to supported illnesses.

We will be donating $1 from every haircut from both our Fairfax an Dulles locations this January to Camp Sunshine.