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.

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.