December 2008

Unique Programs Touch Millions

By Gordon Miller, National Cosmetology Association

In this season of doing good deeds, it’s a great time to celebrate the fact that salon professionals around the country—and the globe—spend their lives helping others, not only from behind the chair but also out in their communities.

Because our members have asked for our guidance in ways to get involved, the National Cosmetology Association has developed a menu of programs that professionals can tap into to do good for others.

This year, we launched the NCA Cares Program as an umbrella fundraising and member mobilization effort benefiting three important community outreach programs embraced by our association, its members and the industry at large: CUT IT OUT/Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund, Look Good…Feel Better and the NCA Disaster Relief Fund. Each of these programs is unique in that it is based on the ideal that there is one person—a trusted salon professional—who is uniquely qualified to provide care in people’s time of need.

The NCA International Legends Ball raised more than $95,000 this year to benefit the NCA CARES Program in direct support of these three important charitable causes. In 2009, the NCA plans to raise more than $250,000 in conjunction with the 2009 Legends Ball, scheduled to take place Saturday, April 25 during the New York International Beauty Show.

As a part of its mission, the NCA Cares Program recognizes and supports salon professionals and their dedication to making a difference in individuals’ lives through volunteerism, professionalism and compassion. Through the CUT IT OUT/Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund, Look Good…Feel Better and the NCA Disaster Relief Fund, salon professionals engage directly in a meaningful cause.

Since 1989, more than 45,000 salon professionals have volunteered with Look Good…Feel Better, dedicating their time and talent to teach cancer patients how to better cope with the often devastating side effects of treatment. Without salon professionals, this program would not exist, and more than 500,000 patients would not know the hope they experienced when they felt cared for and beautiful again. A partnership between the NCA, the American Cancer Society and the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, Look Good…Feel Better will celebrate 20 years of helping patients look good and feel better in 2009.

Co-founded in 2003 by the NCA, CUT IT OUT/Salons Against Domestic Abuse Fund has distributed more than 200,000 information posters to a vast network of professional salons. These salons have gone on to distribute over 5 million consumer safety cards providing information on the signs of domestic abuse as well as how to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance. In addition, more than 20,000 professionals have been trained to recognize and respond to clients in abusive relationships and safely refer them to community resources.

Given the unique and personal nature of the relationship between salon professionals and their clients, many consider the salon to be a safe haven, one of the few places where victims of domestic abuse can have a respite from physical and psychological abuse. Without the commitment of salons and salon professionals to displaying and distributing the CUT IT OUT information, the program would not exist and this unique opportunity to help victims would be lost.

Since 1955, thousands of salon professionals have helped their fellow salon owners, stylists and cosmetologists through the NCA Disaster Relief Fund. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and most recently after the flooding in the Midwest and Hurricane Ike in Texas earlier this year, the fund has provided emergency cash relief for working salon owners, professionals and students whose lives have been affected by these natural disasters. Without the grassroots support from the beauty industry from across the U.S., the fund would not exist, and disaster victims would not have had a place to turn for professional support and a helping hand. To date, it has raised and distributed well over $1 million to assist industry professionals.

“So many of our members are involved in touching the citizens of their communities in so many ways beyond the salon,” said Mark Goodman, president of the NCA and a salon owner in Hilton Head, North Carolina, “We encourage all salon professionals to join us in these initiatives.”

Millions of people have benefited; millions of lives have changed for the better. The NCA encourages all salon professionals to unite and mobilize in making a difference in their personal and professional communities through these important industry related charitable programs.

The National Cosmetology Association is the largest organization of salon professionals in the world. Its mission, since its inception in 1921, has been and continues to be to ensure that working salon professionals have the tools and resources available to create career success with integrity. For more information on the NCA, visit www.ncacares.org or call 312-527-6765.