Haiti Benefit – The Journal
From: The Journal, February 22, 2010
By Edward Marshall / Journal Staff Writer
This story was also covered by Lite 97.5 and WELM 1340AM
KEARNEYSVILLE – For Jefferson County salon owner Vi Nguyen, seeing images of the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated the small island nation of Haiti last month literally brought tears to her eyes.
With news of death toll estimates from the Jan. 12 quake exceeding more than 200,000 and reports of hundreds of thousands more left homeless or injured, Nguyen decided she wanted to try to do something to try to help.
As the owner of VIVO Hair Salon & Day Spa in Kearneysville, she hopes to prove that it only takes a handful of people to make a difference.
This Tuesday the salon, its staff and volunteers will host a special “Help Haiti” fundraiser in a bid to assist relief efforts following the devastating earthquake.
Proceeds from all services at the salon Tuesday will be donated to the American Red Cross, along with 25 percent of all proceeds from products purchased at the day spa during the fundraiser.
“We can never do enough for Haiti,” Nguyen said. “We just really hope that we can raise a lot of donations, and we just hope that everybody comes and shows their support. This is a great cause.”
The fundraising event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. in the salon at 43 Ruland Road, Kearneysville, which is next to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles Office and King’s Pizza.
Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 each to help raise additional funds. Prizes include a $50 gift certificate to the salon and a $50 gift certificate for products sold at the local business.
Free food and drinks will be served. Nguyen said Kings Pizza will donate food for the event.
No appointments are necessary on the day of the fundraiser, and children are welcome. Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Nguyen said available services will include haircuts, manicures, spa manicures, pedicures, waxing, etc.
Nguyen, her staff and volunteers will donate their time Tuesday, a day when the salon is normally closed.
Nguyen, who moved to the United States 10 years ago from Vietnam, said the images from the Haitian earthquake brought back memories of devastation wrought from natural disasters in her native country – and that’s part of the reason she decided to try to help.
“Seeing children with no schools, people that don’t have houses to live in, no food, nothing to drink – it just brings me back to (Vietnam), because natural disasters are things that happen a lot in my country,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen opened the VIVO Hair Salon & Day Spa nearly three years ago and has four full-time staff members.
“They are so excited about it, and everyone is so emotional about the whole thing,” Nguyen said, referring to her staff as well as the volunteers who will help out on Tuesday. “They are saying, ‘We are going to do something that will really help all these people in Haiti.'”
She said on her own she can’t do much, but she hopes that with the community’s help, the fundraiser will make at least a small impact on someone’s life in Haiti.
“It does make me feel great to be able to do just a little bit of something for them,” she said. “Whatever we can do, we want to do that. Every little thing helps I think.”