Protecting the poor from violence in the developing world …

We just love the simplicity of the mission statement of International Justice Mission: We are a global organization that protects the poor from violence in the developing world.

Typically, when we think of helping the poor, the first thing that comes to mind is food and shelter. These are clearly needed and it’s a blessing that people come forward to help with the most basic of needs. However, the poor are often neglected when it comes to justice. They are stepped on, forgotten, abused and left without defense. That’s where the International Justice Mission steps in. Their global team includes hundreds of lawyers, investigators, social workers, community activists and other professionals at work in nearly 20 communities.

Their work includes rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, giving victims the support and tools they need to heal and thrive, and strengthening justice systems by stopping violence before it starts.

Did you know that 32 million people are enslaved worldwide? And that 1 out of 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape? And that 5 million people are chased from their homes every day?

We encourage you to learn more about IJM by visiting their website or watching this short video on Suhana’s story.

This April, we will be donating $1 from every haircut to this very important organization doing amazing work around the world to help bring justice to the poor.

SeekingJusticeForOppressed

This seemed like a great idea … in July!

Updated 3-3-2015 … here are some photos of our 2015 Polar Dip … brrrr!!!! The salon raised and donated over $5,000 toward the event and the event overall raised over $114k for Camp Sunshine! We are looking forward to teaming up again for next year!!!!

Since 2007, Salon Khouri has been holding various fundraising events and donating to childhood cancer groups to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. In July, we were asked by the lovely founder of the Reston Virginia Polar Dip, Gail Toth, to jump in the Virginia Polar Dip. It seemed like a GREAT idea … in July. Now that it’s January, and the dip is sneaking up on is in February, it seems like a CRAZY idea. However, we will do just about anything for these kiddos, so we are happy to take the plunge!!!!

All money goes to support Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine provides respite, support, 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.

Please help our team reach our goal by making a donation to our team or, better yet, become a member of our team and take the plunge with us! Anyone who donates will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE haircut or facial. Anyone who joins our team receives a FREE haircut!!!

DETAILS

EVENT DATE: 02/07/2015

Plunge: 2 PM
Registration: 12 PM

Location: Reston Community Center, Lake Anne Village Center, Reston, VA 20190

With the strength of an event such as the Virginia Polar Dip and the resources of Camp Sunshine, it is our goal to raise in excess of $100,000.00 in 2015. That is enough to send 50 families from the Mid-Atlantic area (including VA/MD/DC/DE/PA/WV/NC) to attend Camp Sunshine.

PolarDip2015

Silpada Fundraiser for Camp Sunshine

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.

Here’s how YOU can help. Silpada is having a retiring pieces sale — up to 40% off! Your purchase will directly help me raise money for Camp Sunshine. You can shop here to support the fundraiser: https://bit.ly/SilpadaCampSunshine. (You can also join the Salon Khouri team from that link and jump with us!!!) Or, if you are all blinged out at the moment, you can donate to the Salon Khouri team directly here: https://bit.ly/SKPolarDip2015.

EndOfSeason

Stan’s Story

We selected to partner again with The Lamb Center as our community outreach partner for the month of December. We will be donating $1 from every haircut the month of December to The Lamb Center and hope that you will take a moment to learn more about the many wonderful things they do for the homeless in Fairfax. Yes, Fairfax.

Hearing the many stories of the lives they help, right here in our neighborhood, is truly amazing and heartwarming.

The recent story of Stan on the Lamb Center blog tells of an older, neatly dressed gentleman standing at the door of the Lamb Center. Stan shared, “I’d say I’m struggling now. I guess I’ve been struggling for a long time. But I’ve managed to stay out of places like this no matter how bad things got, because I hate to ask for help. But I guess things are bad enough now that I am ready to ask.”

Stan had worked as a skilled tradesman for years, raised two children single-handedly when his wife left him, and put both of them through college. When he got laid off several years ago and couldn’t find work, Stan started his own business. He usually managed to make ends meet, getting new business through word of mouth.

Stan went on to share, “My real problem is food. I don’t have enough to eat. I mostly eat Ramen noodles, because I can warm the water in my shed. But I don’t get enough protein, and I get weak during the day.”

As the blog post says, it is truly heartbreaking to know that there are many suffering from hunger right in the midst of the great wealth in Fairfax!

We encourage you to read Stan’s entire story on The Lamb Center blog.

Our November Community Partner is Our Daily Bread Fairfax

We love partnering with Our Daily Bread Fairfax. For over 30 years, they have been working to meet the ever-changing needs of the working poor or those in crisis. They work hard to empower Fairfax residents to cross the bridge from need to true financial self-sufficiency. This November, we will be donating $1 from every haircut to Our Daily Bread Fairfax.

FoodForOtjhers

We would also like to invite you to join their Complete the Circle FoodRaiser on Sunday, November 9th from 1-2:30 PM at the Practice Field at Fairfax High School. This is an exciting family-oriented community service project and Food Drive! They need participants of all ages and volunteers to make this an impactful event that will benefit our neighbors in need. During the event, the design imaged above will be created as a “living painting” on the practice field at Fairfax High School, using hundreds of community members dressed in our event T-shirts that will “color” the image. It will then be photographed from 80 feet above by artist Daniel Dancer of Art for the Sky. Participants are asked to make a $5 donation for their Complete the Circle T-shirt. The Complete the Circle image and event day are intended to convey unity and giving locally with food staples that meet the basic needs of our community members. Participants are being asked to bring three or more non-perishable food items and/or household necessities, to be incorporated into the photo as the outer circle rim of our living painting – so that literally we will all “complete the circle” of giving to provide help and hope to local families and children facing hunger. Register for the event here.

Why we will continue to #GoGold every September

ErinAndAmanda

Erin Griffin and Gabriella Miller at CureFest in September 2013. Gabby succumbed to her tumor in October 26, 2013, and Erin to hers on September 1, 2014.

Do you realize that, in the last 20 years, there have been only two drugs approved by the FDA for childhood cancers that were initially studied in children? That’s out of 146 drugs approved drugs for cancer treatments in the last twenty years. In fact, many do not realize that cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. (Source: National Cancer Institute).

Last night, Erin Griffin died from DIPG, the brain tumor she had been battling for two and a half years. Erin was just 14 years old when she died. You can see Erin pictured to the right with her friend, Gabby, who also died from DIPG in October 2013 when she was just 10 years old. Two sweet girls, taken far too soon because there is simply not enough research dollars going toward childhood cancers. Did you know that only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s Budget for cancer research is allocated toward childhood cancer research? And, if you think that these kids get the short end of the stick because childhood cancers are rare, think again. Childhood cancers have risen 29% in the past twenty years. (Source: National Cancer Institute). Since we were made aware of childhood cancer in 2007, we’ve learned personally that childhood cancer is not rare — just read our blog post from September of 2013, childhood cancer is not rare.

Our apologies if this post isn’t pretty, but childhood cancer is far from pretty. And, until that changes, we will continue to #GoGold in September, sharing stories about these children that have touched our hearts so dearly. We will continue to be a voice for these children because the majority of the people doing so currently are the family members fighting for their kid’s life, or have lost their child to cancer, and that just doesn’t seem fair. Unfortunately, we don’t know of a way to make it pretty. We can only make it a journey of hope and to celebrate the wins in this arena with triumphant celebration! Learning of a “No Evidence of Disease” (NED) in one of these children fills us with so much hope and excitement that we are giddy for days. We will continue to pray for these children, and to share the facts about childhood cancer, until a cure is found.

Here’s what we are doing to help, and we will share a few ways you can help below!

  1. We will be donating $1 from every haircut in September to the childhood cancer dream team through The Truth 365.
  2. Again, this year, instead of a cut-a-thon which only lasts one day, we wanted to do something that people could participate the entire month. Similar to the Pink
    Gold Hair for a Cure

    Gold Hair for a Cure

    Hair for Hope campaign, we are launching a Gold Hair for a Cure campaign. Come and have a SO.CAP gold extension added to your locks for just $10 and we will donate 100% of our profit to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. When people ask why you have a gold hair extension, tell them about Pediatric Cancer Action Month! (And, we have contacted SO.CAP USA to see if they can make this a national campaign. We’ll keep you posted!)

  3. We will be asking every person checking out if they would like to add $1, $3 or $5 to their ticket to be donated to pediatric cancer research funding.
  4. We will be supporting Camp Sunshine in January 2015, and a bunch of us from the salon will be taking the Virginia Polar Dip to support Camp Sunshine. More details to come on that later 🙂

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Participate in CureFest in Washington DC on September 21, 2014. The festival is FREE and the walk is just $20. We will be there again this year showing people how easy a Crazy Hair Day for Kids’ Cancer fundraisers are!
  2. Take a Crazy Hair Day for Kids’ Cancer flyer to your school and have your school host a no-cost fundraiser. It’s so very simple. Kids get to wear their hair crazy for a day and they bring in a small donation. We have a flyer for preschool and elementary schools, and one for middle and high schools. When other kids ask why their hair is ‘crazy’ for the day, it’s a *great* opportunity for these kids to share why. Don’t have kids in school? Take a flyer to work and hang it in your office kitchen. And if you are not a client of ours, take the fliers to your salon. Share with your stylist or the owner of that salon. Get them involved in promoting this amazingly easy fundraiser.
  3. Donate to any one of the many organizations helping kids battling cancer. Here are just a few great ones we know about or have donated to in the past: The Band of Parents, The Isabella Santos Foundation, Journey 4 A Cure, Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation and the DC Candlelighters. Please do not think any amount is too small. If everyone gave $1, these organizations and the children they serve would benefit tremendously!
  4. Participate in a walk in Nova, at CureFest, or a run, or join Team Salon Khouri on our Virginia Polar dip. Come on, it will be fun — submerging into a little freezing water for less than one minute of your life for these kids sounds like a great way to have fun and spread awareness.
  5. Get involved through a social media outreach campaign through The Truth 365.
  6. Watch the Truth 365 Documentary to learn more about the state of pediatric cancer.
  7. Write your Congressperson, and ask him or her to sign The Pledge. We need more than 4% of federal cancer research dollars going toward pediatric cancers.

Hopefully one of these will speak to you. These kids do not have a voice. They are busy fighting for their lives. Be their voice, take action for them.

Stillbrave …

Just about a week and a half ago, Tattoo Tom Mitchell ran 100 miles in honor of one hundred children battling or who have lost their battle with cancer. Following his grueling journey via Facebook, we saw many times the fatigue and the mental exhaustion involved in such a physical challenge. But each mile, he stayed the course. As Tom posted to the Stillbrave Facebook page, “I wanted to quit many times, everything hurt so bad I could hardly take a painless breath,” yet he finished by thinking about the “100 children who carried me the entire way,” including his daughter Shayla who lost her several year battle with cancer.

Stillbrave’s mission is simple, yet powerful: “To provide non-medical, supportive care to children with cancer, and their families in the Washington, DC Metro area.” Many times when thinking of childhood cancer, the focus is only on funding research. Don’t get us wrong, research funding must be the primary focus. With a measly 4% of the federal cancer budget, we believe without a doubt that childhood cancer research needs more funding. However, there are many non-medical needs these families face. Parents miss work and often lose vital income needed to maintain the household. Siblings need babysitting while mom and dad are at the hospital. A faucet may start to leak in the house — the repair of which is the last thing any of these families need on any given week of treatments.

Tom and Tara Sanker

Tom Mitchell with Tara Sankner. Such a great photo of these two!!

This July, we are supporting Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation by donating $1 from every haircut we do this month. Additionally, you can choose to add $1, $3 or $5 to your ticket at checkout which will also be donated to Stillbrave. We encourage you to take time to read the cold hard facts about childhood cancers, sign the petition at The Truth 365 to ask Congress to increase federal funding for childhood cancer, and look at the many volunteer opportunities available. #StepUp for Childhood Cancer!

Helping AFA reach their goal

The students of Ad Fontes Academy in Centreville, VA have a BIG goal ahead of them, and just about 30 days to get there. They have set out to raise $800,000 in 45 days and have just about 30 days left to reach their goal. The school would like to build a modular facility so that all students, K-12, can be united at one campus. They are currently spread across two campuses, a lower school serving grades K-4, and an upper school serving grades 5-12. Having the students at two separate locations limits the mentoring that is so inherent in the philosophy of the school, which pairs students from upper grades with students from lower grades to nurture relationships and leadership skills amongst the students.

Mentoring

AFA upper school student mentoring a lower school student during Dr. Seuss Week

Ad Fontes Academy is a Classical Christian School located in Centreville, VA. The classical model of education is thousands of years old, begun by the Greeks and Romans and developed through history. It’s focus is on the curriculum of trivium, meaning “three ways”, wherein a child’s learning is broken into phases of grammar, logic, then rhetoric. It is also the educational methodology followed by this great nation’s founding fathers.

Ad Fontes is indeed a small school but it has a huge community impact. Last year, 16 students of Ad Fontes delivered over 500 pounds of clothing and shoes to the Refuge of Hope in Pucallpa, Peru. They also painted, landscaped, built a roof, put of screens and telephone poles, spent time with students, and ministered to children in remote villages along the Ucayali River. This year, 26 students and adults will be taking part in the mission trip to help better the lives of these sweet children.

An AFA upper school student having fun blowing bubbles with a Refuge of Hope student in Pucallpa, Peru.

The culture of Ad Fontes, although academically rigorous, creates and instills an absolute embodiment of selflessness. The school would like to grow to accommodate more local families wanting to pursue a Classical education. Tuition aid is available for families not able to meet tuition.

Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut in March toward their effort. It may not be much relative to the total, but by supporting them in this huge goal, we hope to inspire others to donate or to make a bond investment toward their growth effort.

Dusty Needs a Home …

Take me home ...

Take me home …

This little guy’s name is Dusty. He really wants you to take him home. Dusty is a rescue at Homeless Animal Rescue Team. You’ve probably seen HART at the local PetsMart and Petco on weekends with their rescued furry friends.

HART is a wonderful organization that takes great care to ensure their pets are placed in the right homes. We adopted our dog, who looks eerily similar to Dusty, in 2000. We were so impressed by the care they took in placing Bogart with us.

This January, we donating $1 from every haircut to HART, as well as 10% from all of Jennifer’s Silpada sales when purchased from this link.

Our August Community Outreach: Autism Speaks

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States each year.

Jonathan and I have several friends whose children have been diagnosed. Having witnessed their diagnosis as an outsider, we’ve seen the grieving stages the parents go through as they grapple through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then ultimately acceptance with the disorder. We are oftentimes at a loss with what to say or how to help. It’s frustrating for everyone not knowing the true cause of the disorder. It makes parents question every little thing of the child’s past, all the way to conception, which leaves parents’ minds on an eternal treadmill of questioning thoughts — which for anyone can be exhausting. What we do know about children with autism spectrum disorder is that they are each amazingly gifted and unique. We know they are loved very deeply by their friends and family, even though it may seem at times that these same family and friends are exasperated. The truth is autism is exasperating. It’s also, at times, wonderfully incredible. As our friend said of her sweet, adorable son, “He teaches us something new about ourselves and about the truly important elements of life.”

We’d love for you to take a moment to browse through the Autism Speaks website. For the month of August, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut to Autism Speaks.