On A Mission
28 OctPosted by Tonya Jones
On a mission to help women, children and water
It’s a heart-wrenching statistic, but as the holidays fast approach it’s one we can’t ignore: 43 percent of area women live in poverty. At Tonya Jones SalonSpa, giving back is one of our core values. Our team has rallied around the concept of building prosperity not just for ourselves and our business, but for everyone in the community. That’s why you’ll see some of our staff wearing jeans on Saturdays (for a $5 donation to the Cahaba River Society); it’s why you’ll see us attending summer camp (read on for why); and it’s why, come each October, you’ll see us participating in breast cancer awareness activities.
Each set of hands matters
Each January, our salon has an annual “vision day.” On that day, we set goals and intentions for the year to come—not so much resolutions, but missions. Personally, we strive to give back together. We even have a salon slogan for our efforts: “With Our Own Two Hands.”
Joey Joe Graham / Source: Facebook
Sick kids should feel beautiful, too
One organization we’re heavily involved with is Camp Smile-A-Mile (Tonya’s been a board member for nearly a decade), a summer camp offered free of charge to children with cancer. In 2015 alone, more than 1,000 individuals were served by the nonprofit. To us, that number’s too big. So when there’s a way we can utilize our talents to help—we do. Twice a summer we offer styling, makeup applications, manicures and pedicures to campers as part of the Girls’ Night Out event. It humbles our hearts and souls, and the kids feel like they’re celebrities…and to us, they are.
“Tonya and many of her talented stylists bring the best of Tonya Jones SalonSpa to the children we serve,” says Savannah Lanier, Development Director for Camp Smile-A-Mile. “They help make them feel beautiful. One child said it best after getting her makeup done: ‘I haven’t felt this beautiful since before starting chemo.’”
To know we can make such an impact on a child’s life, for a brief period of time when they’re going through so much, is why giving back remains one of our top priorities. Yet we know nonprofits need more than time and energy—they need resources—and, oftentimes, financial ones. That’s why we also recently donated more than $15,000 through sponsorships, sales of silent auction items and donations.
Pink is always in: from wig styling to therapy sessions
Tonya Jones SalonSpa / Source: Facebook
We also actively participate in breast cancer awareness activities around October—one such event being Cahaba Village for the Cure, where a portion of our proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Yet we strive to remember that cancer exists 12 months out of the year, not just one. That’s why we work routinely throughout the year with our chemotherapy guests to help them style their wigs and assist them with whatever else they might need. (Our salon’s been known to double as a therapy session.)
Ending poverty starts with women and water
Our hearts lie within women and children in need, and our community. “Our services are specialty services,” Tonya says. “We have a niche, being in the beauty industry. If we don’t use our outlet and talents to help women and children in need, who will?”
That’s why another local organization we work with is The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, a nonprofit organization working to end poverty by connecting women to housing, child care and education resources.
We are proud to say that we donate $10,000 a year to The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. We’re also proud to say we raised more than $18,000 for the Cahaba River Society (the main drinking water source for about 1/5 of Alabama’s people), a nonprofit that works to keep our river and drinking water clean and healthy.
That’s a ton of money. So, how do we do it? With your help! Through silent auctions, a Trash the Runway event and a Hair Raiser event (haircuts, styling, mini-facials, eyebrow waxes, manis, pedis and massage-by-the-minute, no appointments needed and 100% of proceeds benefiting the nonprofit), we were able to raise funds for the society.
“The Women’s Fund’s work is not possible without the support of companies like Tonya Jones SalonSpa,” says Jeanne Jackson, President and CEO of The Women’s Fund. “Their support plays a special role in our mission to help low-income women move beyond poverty—and we are thankful for their commitment to creating a community of hope, opportunity, and self-respect for all women in Greater Birmingham.”
Giving back: It takes (and makes) a team
“I’ve been blown away not only by what our team has been able to accomplish but by how genuinely happy everyone is about giving back,” Tonya says. “Our team feels connected on a deeper level thanks to our philanthropic work.”
Tonya Jones Combs / Source: Facebook
We are all in this together, and that’s never more evident than when guests and staff members unite for the common good.