Our July Community Outreach – Keeping Our Kids Safe via The ART of Driving

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Ashley Renee Thompson lost her life in a singular vehicular accident on June 10, 2003 — she was just sixteen years old. She was an advanced placement student, a competitive gymnast, and loved by her friends and peers. Her mother created The ART of Driving program in memory of her daughter to increase awareness among teens and parents of the unique risks faced by young, novice drivers and to impress upon them the need for improved training, increased supervised time behind-the-wheel, and increased parental involvement. The ART of Driving is also advocating for improvements in driver education for our youth and seeks to change the mindset of teens and their parents that tragedies like this “won’t happen to me”.

The ART of DrivingIt is our hope to help bring awareness to this organization. If just one parent or teen gains a new piece of knowledge from The ART of Driving that saves a life, then this will have been our most successful community outreach event to date! Please take a moment to Learn the Top 5 Reasons for Teen Crashes and Injuries, as well as an overview of programs offered through The ART of Driving.

For the month of July, Salon Khouri will donate $1 from every haircut to the Ashley Renee Thompson Memorial Foundation.

Our June Community Outreach – Help Us Bridge The Gap

FoodBridge_logoThis June, Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut to Our Daily Bread Fairfax in support of their Food Bridge program. Also, upon checkout, you can donate $1, $3, or $5 toward this program.

With the down economy, many Fairfax families are struggling. Luckily, Our Daily Bread Fairfax is there to help. Our Daily Bread identifies and addresses the unmet fundamental needs of Fairfax area residents and empowers the community to help these neighbors maintain self-sufficiency. They are a volunteer-based organization focused on easing the plight of low income residents in Fairfax County, drawing volunteers from local faith-based groups, community organizations, local businesses, schools and universities.

We specifically are reaching out to help Our Daily Bread’s Food Bridge Program, which provides short-term food assistance to Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet – helping them bridge the gap until they can achieve self-sufficiency. Needy families are referred to the Program by social workers, and generally receive assistance for approximately four to six months. Some clients receive emergency assistance once or twice to get them through a brief crisis.

Here’s how it works, with every haircut the month of June, Salon Khouri will donate $1 toward the purchase of a gift card for the Food Bridge program. Gift Cards allow Our Daily Bread’s clients to meet the specific dietary needs of their family, which many times includes managing specific food allergies. Grocery store gift cards also allow parents to make good nutritional choices for their children that include fruits, vegetables and dairy items that cannot be stored at the ODB panty. In addition, grocery store gift cards help Our Daily Bread’s clients to practice newly acquired financial management skills in getting the most out of every dollar they spend for food. Their Food Bridge Supporters collect and deliver either non-perishable food items and supplies or grocery cards to 30 of their Food Bridge clients each Sunday.

The goal of the Food BRIDGE is to take Our Daily Bread’s clients from a place of crisis to a place that is stable where food insecurity is concerned. Our Daily Bread helps their clients make good choices, teaches them how to manage resources and to go forward with new skills in being informed consumers.

If you would like to volunteer to help deliver food to families, please contact Christina Garris of Our Daily Bread Fairfax at 703-273-8829.

Our April Community Outreach is ….

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Growing up, I didn’t think about where my food came from. And sadly, I have to say the same about my twenties. Then, I started a family, and pregnant with my first child, I started to question everything I put into my body. Where did it come from? How was it grown? Was it sprayed with any chemicals? I began to venture out, starting small. I watched a documentary called Fresh, and was blown away by a guy named Joel Salatin. The way he argued his points and explained his passion for sustainable farming draws you in. His vocabulary is eloquent, and his speech is lyrical, forcing you to want to listen. You can see a glimpse of it here, but if you just search Joel Salatin on YouTube, you can find a plethora of interesting videos from Joel. I began ordering meat from his farm, Polyface Farm located near Charlottesville, VA. Polyface delivers to various host sites in Northern Virginia on a monthly basis.

After baby #2, I discovered Fields of Athenry on a Saturday afternoon drive with the kids while Jonathan was busy at the salon. I met the owner, Elaine on our visit there. She shared a lot of great information with me, but what I remembered most was her caring nature. One of her chickens had just had baby chicks. She showed my children and let them hold one of the chicks, then explained how they hatch. She also took them outside and had one of her girls set us up with feeding the baby lambs. I quickly made visiting FOA farm a Saturday tradition that summer, taking the kids to see the animals and learn about where food comes from as well as picking up delicious, fresh meats for the week.

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Through my continued exploration of Virginia farms, I signed up for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), finding a winter CSA through Moutoux Orchard. (It’s now a year-round food club). Rob at Moutoux grows the most delicious, chemical free peaches I have ever eaten. I discovered another farm from a friend right next to Moutoux called Chicama Run. Dana, the owner and operator of Chicama Run is an amazing woman. I am not even sure if amazing is a big enough word to describe Dana. She cares for her farm, for her family, and for her community. She truly, truly cares about what you feed yourself. She shares a ton of great information on her blog and Facebook page. A great part for the kiddos about visiting her farm is being able to feed all the free range chickens!!

If you haven’t guessed yet, our April community outreach for Salon Khouri is to introduce you to some of these wonderful farmers. Earth Day is later this month and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than thanking these guys for helping care for the earth through better, smarter farming.

We will also be donating $1 from every haircut this month toward a scholarship to help send a lucky individual to a Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar where Joel helps teach others sustainable farming practices. If you’d like to donate, you can do so through our Community Page.

* updated 5/25/2013, in lieu of sending someone to the Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar, we donated to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.