Meet Food for Schools Sponsor To The Woods
Founded in 2014 and located on West Rosemary Street, To The Woods is a craft-focused hair salon owned by longtime friends and stylists Jessica Reiner, Julie Smith, and Jaime Phillips.
For six years, the salon has donated to PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro, sponsoring the Food for Schools (FFS) program for the past two years.
FFS provides supplemental food to students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools who are hungry and struggling to concentrate. Through FFS, PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro provides each school with $1,100 worth of snacks in a school year – $550 at the beginning of the school year and $550 after the holidays. The snacks – cheese crackers, granola bars, applesauce, apples, protein bars, trail mix, fruit bars, and more – are purchased in bulk, brought to a central location, and sorted. Then, school social workers pick up the healthy snacks on a designated day each semester.
Once the social workers divide the snacks among grade levels within their school, students simply let their teacher know when they are hungry and would like a snack to tide them over during the school day. Each school nurse gets a supply of snacks, too, a vital resource when students aren’t feeling well and need some sustenance.
To learn more, check out our recent feature on this program.
Between now and the end of the year, clients and the general public can enter a raffle when they stop by To The Woods, with all proceeds going to PORCH and the FFS program.
Raffle tickets typically go for $5, but many people choose to give more. Just before the salon takes a break for the holidays – on Dec. 23 – three winners will be drawn. Each will receive credit for a $75 service of their choice from the salon.
To The Woods’ owners have been residents of the Chapel Hill area for 20 years or more. Many of the stylists have school-aged children. “They understand how important it is,” says salon manager Valerie Kuipers. “They have been able to witness what PORCH does for the community and for the schools. Our clients understand it too.”
The salon team gives back to the community in other ways; during the pandemic, they provided discounted services to fellow service workers and offered local firefighters goody bags of hair products and tools.
“We are about to celebrate 10 years. As a small business, it’s crazy to think of,” says Valerie. “Everyone keeps talking about how lucky we are to have been embraced by the community. … Our clients support us, so it makes us super conscious of ways we can give back and show that gratitude. Our clients validate these efforts – they are excited to help.”
To The Woods is accepting new clients. Learn more at tothewoodssalon.com.