Bringing Freedom Through the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative

FAITH. JUSTICE. FREEDOM

Human trafficking is the fastest growing organized crime in the U.S. This August, we have partnered with Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative (NOVA-HTI), a local, Christian nonprofit combatting human trafficking, as our community outreach partner. The mission of NOVA-HTI is to prevent human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, disrupt related networks, and restore those impacted. Their strategy is to network, serve, pray, and create awareness to mobilize the local Church and community to make a difference in its own neighborhoods and ultimately, eradicate human trafficking in Northern Virginia. NOVA-HTI stands on the front lines of human trafficking by connecting with the public, law enforcement, service providers, and volunteers to identify those being trafficked and provide intervention, crisis response and aftercare services. NOVA-HTI uses a trauma informed case management system requiring extensive training and re-training of their volunteers who work with victims to help them begin to trust again and who assist them in their long journey to freedom and healing and has served as a model across the nation to empower communities to recognize and eradicate trafficking.

In 2010, Congressional Representative Frank Wolf asked the local faith community to be involved in the fight against human trafficking in Northern Virginia. The Pastors Consortium, a local group of church leaders, heeded this call by forming a team call the Loudoun Human Trafficking Task Force. They decided the best way to fight human trafficking was to serve those already in the fight, such as government agencies, non-profits, and service providers, by funneling community members and resources to them and by creating awareness within the community. In early 2013, the group re-branded itself as the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, officially becoming a 501(c)3 organization.

Please join us in supporting NOVA-HTI organization by either considering a volunteer role or by donating to the cause, and by supporting them in prayer. We are donating $1 from every haircut we do in August toward this invaluable, local nonprofit.

Human Trafficking Stats

In the U.S., trafficking is widespread in major populations such as New York, California, and Texas. The North to South highway corridors along both coasts are also extremely popular travel routes for
quick exits to and from the U.S. Almost 80 percent of human trafficking is for sex while 19 percent is to exploit labor. There are in fact more human slaves in the world now than ever before in our
history. There are estimated to be 27 million adults and 13 million children who are victims of human trafficking. A startling fact is that human trafficking can include but does not require movement. There
are examples within communities where victims are enslaved through coercive and deceptive practices into a life of involuntary servitude including forced labor and debt bondage.

Another devastating effect of COVID-19 is the recent increase in Child sexual abuse images and online exploitation surge during pandemic. World Population Review indicates that so far in 2020 in Virginia there have been a reported 198 trafficking cases or 2.3 per 100,000 population.

 

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

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.

How we are helping our wounded warriors this November with Luke’s Wings

Jennifer Elkhouri

I just finished reading The Trident, the Forging and Reforging of a Navy Seal Leader, by Jason Redman, which I purchased after having the honor of hearing Redman speak at the Business Mastery by Millennium conference in October. In the book, Redman tells of his journey to leadership and the many challenges, both physical and personal, he faced along the way. In 2007, Redman was struck by machine gun fire — twice in the arm and once in the face — on a mission in Iraq hunting down a key al-Qaida commander. Reading Redman’s words of his perseverance through his injuries, even after many setbacks, was absolutely inspiring. Jonathan and I are truly thankful for Redman and every man and woman who have put themselves in harms way defending our freedoms.

We are also thankful that our salons are able to give back to our wounded soldiers through our November community outreach partner, Luke’s Wings, whose mission is to support wounded, ill and injured service members by providing families with a means to visit during their recovery and rehabilitation. For over a decade, Luke’s Wings has provided complimentary airfare to wounded warriors and their loved ones to bridge the gap of separation during rehabilitation, helping keep them physically and emotionally connected on their journey to recovery.

We’d love to take a moment to share a few stories of those who’ve been helped by Luke’s Wings.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P.U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P. is a dedicated patriot with a combined 37 months in combat tours. During his time overseas, he sustained multiple injuries due to combat with the enemy, exposure to blasts and IEDs, and running with heavy equipment. As a result, he underwent months of treatment related to a spinal injury, a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and hearing loss, among others. As he continues to receive treatment here in the United States, he reached out to Luke’s Wings with a simple request – to see his family in Cali, Colombia for Christmas. For our wounded warriors, seeing family gives them hope, purpose and motivation to take the next step in their recovery. We are proud to support warriors like Ricardo who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.  “I could not be blessed a better way by having the team allowing me the chance to travel to South America and visit my family.” – U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P.

 

 

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon B

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon B was involved in an accident during his deployment, resulting in complete numbness in his entire lower body and the inability to walk. Before long, his kidneys and liver began to shut down and they were immediately medevaced to the United States for critical treatments. They soon found themselves at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD with no idea what would come next. After multiple tests, MRI’s and consultations, he finally began down the path to recovery. When the Christmas season soon approached, they were far from family and unable to afford travel home to Tampa, FL. However, through Luke’s Wings, Brandon’s family was provided four flights so that they could surrounded him with family during the holidays, including his grandmother who was battling stage 3 ovarian cancer. These flights gave a family, who has been through so much, a chance to return to normalcy among the chaos of uncertainty.

 

This November, we are donating $1 from every haircut at our Fairfax and Dulles locations to support Luke’s Wings. If you have unused Delta SkyMiles, please consider donating them to Luke’s Wings.

Hearts of Gold: Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation – our October Community Outreach Partner

This is our fourth year that we have selected Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation as a Salon Khouri community outreach partner and it’s because we love their mission so much! Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation is a 501c3 whose mission is to raise awareness and funding for Childhood Cancer Research while providing Christian focused support to the Childhood Cancer Community.

A majority of their funds go directly towards funding childhood cancer research initiatives through world class organizations such as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). Because childhood cancer remains the #1 cause of death by disease for children in our country and because childhood cancer research currently receives less than 4% of the total national cancer research budget, they remain committed and passionate about doing their part to help find cures! The goal of AACCF is to help support new research through providing whatever funding they can in order to help make a difference in treatment options available to children fighting childhood cancers.

Here’s the impact AACCF had in just 2018 alone:

  • $100,000 Research Grant to Children’s National to help fund the REST Immunotherapy Trial (more).
  • 260 Care Packages delivered to children at Fairfax Inova Children’s Hospital and to families and children in 14 different states
  • 12 Prayer Team visits which included bringing gifts, breakfast, coffee, and lots of LOVE to the families at Inova Children’s Hospital. In 2018, they incorporated a few themed visits including an EMOJI party and one time bringing Rapunzel with them!
  • 70 Prayer Pillowcases sent out to children and families
  • 60 Super Hero Dolls made lovingly by their friend Kristi Catlett at GoldRibbonCrochet
  • 100 parent toiletry kits delivered to Fairfax Children’s Hospital to be kept on the unit and distributed as needed to parents unexpectedly staying overnight
  • Additionally, they embarked on a few new things this year:
    • They sent families to Minefaire and gifted them with tickets for the whole family!
    • They created Forever in our Hearts Kites and mailed them to 18 different families.
    • They also helped provide meals to 4 different families locally in 2018.

And, on November 16th, 2019, they will be hosting the Hearts of Gold Gala to celebrate Five years of giving back to our local community. You may register for the gala here.

This October, we are donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation and we know that every single penny will bring blessings to those in our local community battling childhood cancer.

Our Community Outreach Partner for September: The Truth 365

Over 15,000 kids will be diagnosed with cancer in the next 365 days.

The goal of The Truth 365 is to educate and mobilize millions of people through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social networking sites. Their full-length documentaries and shorter films inform the public that there is a critical need for funding for childhood cancer research. Through increased awareness comes increased funding. You see, children *should be* our nations’ priority. Yet, the shocking lack of funding for childhood cancers indicates otherwise. Over the past years, we have shared a statistic that we thought would surely have changed by now. Sadly, we are reporting the same this year: the National Cancer Institute allocates only 4% of it’s cancer research budget toward childhood cancers. And 4% is simply not enough. Drug companies aren’t allocating research dollars either, as there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes – all of which need to be approached differently. Much of the funding for new therapies are left to be raised by the parents, which is a burden they should not have to bear. Yet, they do, faced with no other options for helping their children. They bike, run, shave their heads, participate in ultra marathons — just about anything they can do — they will to raise money to give to advance research.

We would love for you to spread the word about CureFest, an amazing and FREE, family-friendly childhood cancer event in Washington DC! This year, CureFest will be September 20-22nd with singer Chris Daughtry performing. Be sure to register for this FREE event.

We are donating $1 from every haircut from both locations this September to The Truth 365. We hope and pray that we will see an end to childhood cancers in our lifetime and awareness is the KEY to funding, which will be a KEY to a cure!

 

DC Candlelighters – our August Community Outreach Partner

We are honored to partner with DC Candlelighters, our August Community Outreach partner. DC Candlelighters is an all-volunteer organization providing emotional, educational, practical and financial support to families of children fighting cancer. The name Candlelighters comes from the ancient proverb: “it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” DC Candlelighters strives to provide a light in the darkness because we believe no family should face the uncertain world of childhood cancer alone.

DC Candlelighters was founded by a group of mothers whose own children fought cancer, to give families facing the devastating discovery of a child’s cancer something they had wished for themselves – someone who has “been there” and understands the fear, helplessness, and financial and family pressures that grow out of a childhood cancer diagnosis. The DC Candlelighters Board of Directors consists of parents who have had a child with cancer and professionals who have worked with families who experience childhood cancer. The non-profit serves all children with cancer and their families, long-term survivors of childhood cancer and their families, and bereaved families who live or receive treatment within 50 miles of the Washington DC, metropolitan area.

DC Candlelighters has no paid staff, therefore, 100% of all donations go straight into servicing DC area families directly, for programs such as you’ll find on their Programs and Services page.

We will be donating $1 from every haircut we do in August from both our Fairfax and Dulles salons.

 

We love what Ellie’s Hats is doing for children battling cancer — our February community outreach partner

In the spring of 2013 a little girl named Ellie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. By the time she started kindergarten in the fall, she had lost most of her hair and was wearing hats to school every day. Ellie’s Hats was born after one of her teachers, Jay Coakley, noticed how much cheer and individuality the hats brought to Ellie. He wanted to share that feeling with other children who suffered from childhood cancer and to also raise awareness.

Ellie’s Hats mission is to brighten the day of a child who is battling cancer. They do this by sending a package of hats and other items for the child battling cancer and their siblings. They include hats for the siblings too because often they feel left out. They have sent over 1,300 special packages to children across the country. For families in Northern Virginia, which is where they are located, they are able to do more than send them hats. They provide financial support and do whatever they can do to make these kids’ days a little brighter.

Ellie’s Hats is a 100% volunteer run non profit.

Here are a few other things Ellie’s Hats has done for kids battling cancer: #morethanjustahat

  • Donated $1,000’s worth of gift cards and checks
  • The “Hero Bag” Program at Inova Children’s Hospital. (A special bag is given to every newly admitted pediatric cancer patient)
  • Supply the food and drinks for the nourishment room and the PSV Clinic in Falls Church
  • Donated $10,000 to The Pediatric Oncology Family Support Fund in 2016
  • Donated $10,000 to Novant Hemby Children’s Hospital in 2016 to help them remodel their treatment room.
  • Gave three $1,000 Gift Certificates from a local auto repair shop to local families.
  • Helped a teenager go to a Wizards game and get to meet Steph Curry.
  • Had Kirk Cousins record a special video to a high school senior who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
  • Donated ipads, VR goggles, Play Stations, Nintendo Switches, Robots from Double Robitics.

It’s an honor to once again support Ellie’s Hats this February as our community outreach partner. We will donate $1 from every haircut this February from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to this very special, local non-profit.

Giving Hope to thousands of children battling cancer

For Hope Veazey, diagnosed with leukemia at seven years old, HopeCam brought a peace of mind knowing that she could stay connected to her friends and her education. It brought normalcy to a hectic schedule that included many clinic visits and in-patient hospital stays. For Ted and Kristin Veazey, Hope’s parents, HopeCam brought a ray of hope when they were going through the toughest of times.

The mission of Hopecam is simple: to overcome the social isolation experienced by children in treatment for cancer. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it is important to keep the child connected to school and friends. In fact, research by Suzuki and Kato in 2003 shows that children who felt more supported from their classmates during cancer treatment were “less depressed, less anxious, and had higher self-esteem” than children who did not feel supported by classmates.

We are honored to once again partner with HopeCam this January as our community outreach partner and will be donating $1 from each haircut at both our Fairfax, VA and Dulles Landing, VA locations. It brings us so much joy as a Northern Virginia salon able to give back to our community in this way!

Helping Children Through Child Help: Our October Community Outreach Partner

This October, our community outreach partner is Child Help, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect as well as at-risk children. With a home in Culpeper County, Child Help gives hope and much needed services to children who so desperately need healing and love.

The Alice C. Tyler Village in Lingum, VA, is a private, nonprofit, psychiatric residential treatment facility located in Northern Virginia. The Village provides a clinically sophisticated therapeutic program utilizing an interdisciplinary approach specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents with mild to severe trauma or neglect, psychiatric disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Village brings the light of love and healing into the lives of countless abused and neglected children, and those suffering from psychiatric and behavioral disorders. Their unique location on a 270-acre horse farm provides a nurturing treatment setting with a variety of therapy resources. Children live in separate home-like cottages based on age and gender. Each child has daily opportunities to pursue a variety of recreational activities: horseback riding, community outings, hiking and biking trails, rope courses, team sports, Go-Kart track, swimming, and a children’s choir.

We are honored to partner with Child Hope this October and will be donating $1 from every haircut we do in both our Fairfax and Dulles locations to this amazing non-profit!