As a youngster, I remember my grandmother saying: “If you really want to feel good about yourself, you should make a positive difference in the life of someone else.” I doubt I was able to fully grasp what she intended at the time, but now, I think I have a better idea.
For a number of years, my business at Salon Antoine has extended itself to gather food for the needy over both Thanksgiving and Christmas; to offer haircuts while fundraising in the fight against childhood cancers in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation; and to sponsor a very special one day cut-a-thon raising monies and awareness for Bethany House, an organization that helps women and children of domestic violence trying to rebuild their lives.
As a business owner, there is good logic behind such community activities. But I’m equally amazed at the generosity of the Salons’ employees who willingly offer their time and talents to support these causes. They get it. They understand the old adage of giving being better than receiving.
Further, I have never initiated a charitable activity where my own family isn’t directly involved. Filling boxes or loading trucks or running errands in support of these measures, I’ll testify how every time, it has brought us closer together as loved ones in the knowledge we’re performing a purposeful mission that helps those in need.
I can’t prove this but I’m absolutely convinced that when we extend ourselves in service to others, that we are healthier for it, happier for it and will be rewarded in ways we can’t imagine.
I encourage businesses everywhere to take up a cause, to embrace a model for volunteerism that conforms to their particular service or product and thereby stand in support of a better Northern Virginia. If my experience is any indication, I can all but guarantee an outcome that fosters a certain sense of community while at the same time, pays a dividend in ways never expected. A business that donates its time, money or services will not cramp enterprise, but rather build its esteem among clientele and employees and provide a true sense of value and satisfaction.
Since 1996, Tony Chahine has owned and operated Salon Antoine and Spa of Fairfax. For more information, visit www.SalonAntoine.com