Hairdressers Help Save Girls through Destiny Rescue
Sara Gorvett (third from right) with some of the team that volunteered for the Destiny Rescue cut-a-thon at Pivot Point Academy (left to right): Jennifer Pelletier Theodorou, Anthony J Tuzzolino, Nik from JudithB Salon, Katie Jolliff Cifone, Laura Cummings Miley, (Sara Gorvett), Cindy Kellenberger Walsdorf and Evangeline Serpico.
When you have a calling that you feel may make this a better world, you have to follow it.
“In recent years, I have felt it in my heart to help girls rescued from sex trafficking,” explains Chicago-area independent hairdresser Sara Gorvett. After researching ways she could contribute, Gorvett signed on as a volunteer with Destiny Rescue, an organization that focuses on trafficking in southeast Asia.
“Destiny Rescue goes into brothels to rescue young girls and take them to a safe home where the girls are educated, counseled and provided vocational training,” Gorvett continues. “One of the vocational options for the girls is hairdressing! When I found this out, I knew this is what I’d been looking for.”
Gorvett was so serious about this commitment that in fall 2015 she traveled to Thailand and Cambodia to make sure that Destiny Rescue was the real deal. She was impressed. “It was amazing!” she says. “They even help to reintegrate the girls back into society after all of the training, and also work with their families. The process takes years and is primarily staffed by volunteers.”
Although she’s a solo artist these days, Gorvett used to work at Zano salons in suburban Chicago and has stayed in touch. She asked owner Denise Provenzano whether she could hold a cut-a-thon at the Zano salons to raise funds to give beauty school scholarships to girls saved by Destiny Rescue. In their countries, it costs between $1,000 and $3,000 for a student to complete beauty school training. Provenzano wanted to help and set aside space at Zano’s newly purchased Pivot Point Academy in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The cut-a-thon took place over a four-week span at holiday time with participation from current and former Zano stylists.
“We had 51 volunteers, including front desk staff, hairdressers, assistants and Destiny volunteers,” Gorvett reports. “It was an amazing group effort, and I am so thankful to Denise for the use of Pivot Point Academy! We were able to provide services for the beauty school guests, who had their hair cut or colored by experienced veterans at beauty school prices, and we gave rescued girls hope for the future through an education in our industry. We raised more than $9,000 during the event, potentially sending up to nine girls through beauty school and changing generations of lives! What a team effort!” Gorvett further thanks Sharon Blain, who happened to be teaching a class on the cut-a-thon’s first night and stepped in at the last minute with her assistant Julie when a volunteer couldn’t make it.
“Sharon and Julie selflessly worked with us that night, after teaching an intense class all week,” Gorvett says. “Sharon blogged about it that same evening on her Facebook page with more than 350,000 followers! So good!”
Hoping this is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to raise funds and bring awareness to human trafficking, Gorvett has pursued future ideas with Provenzano, who is the current president of Cosmetologists Chicago (CC).
“Denise is an amazing support and an excellent source for networking,” Gorvett notes. “She and the staff at Zano salons have always had a heart for giving back and supporting the community and beyond, and now Pivot Point is part of that. I would love it if salons across the country would do cut-a-thons to support rescued girls who want to go to cosmetology school.”