Brenda and Steve Couture, owners of Heavenly Hair Plus – a hair, nail, beauty and tanning salon – in Whitinsville, Mass., recently helped their community connect with a worthy cause; American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is the salon’s third year collecting inexpensive tanning fees and contributions to send service men and women care packages with everyday consumable items that they have no access to. Many of these troops are located in remote areas with no stores of any kind.
Industry figure John R. Farr of Hebron, Ky.-based Power Group Companies helped the couple create a promotional campaign for the event. The cause is deeply personal to Farr, whose grandson LCPL Jordan Lorenzen is in a Marine recon unit in one of the worst areas in Afghanistan. “Nearly all of what we take for granted is denied the troops because of the remote and primitive conditions,” he says. “In setting up the Couture's email program, we were quite excited to get this ‘Tan For The Troops’ offer into the hands of each member of their email club. This is something any salon could do. It's a great PR vehicle, but most importantly, it's just a great thing to do for our troops serving in horrible conditions. They have to take their once-a-week baths with bottled water!”
Farr shares that interested salons are able to pick out their own set of troops to ship consumables to (which is what Heavenly Hair Plus did), and that he or the Coutures are happy to help others get started.
The Coutures set up their event for October 14-15, with an online feature that allowed customers and supporters to purchase their “Tan for the Troops” in advance, or simply to make a donation. Of course donations and sales were accepted during the event as well. During the two-day promotion, the salon offered $5 tans, with 100 percent of the amount going toward the care packages sent to troops. They also held an in-store bake sale to raise additional funds for the project.
“For these ‘kids,’ the packages are like a Christmas morning when they arrive,” Farr notes. “They remind them that we care and they're not forgotten.”