Goodwill Announces 24-hour Veterans Yoga Challenge

Goodwill Manasota challenges community to support the Connected Warriors Yoga Program, which is designed especially for veterans

Published Wednesday, November 4, 2015

SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Through a partnership with Karma Yoga Outreach of Garden of the Heart Yoga Center, Goodwill Manasota has announced a 24-hour Yoga Challenge called “Strike a Pose for Veterans.” The Challenge will feature community members taking photos of themselves in various yoga poses and sharing them via email and on social media to help raise awareness and funds for Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program. The event begins on Monday, November 9 at noon and ends at noon on Tuesday, November 10.

Organizers are hoping to raise $5,000 through the effort. When participants make a donation and provide a picture of themselves doing one of the four selected poses, their donations will be matched dollar for dollar – up to $250 per person – by an anonymous donor.  To obtain the match, participants are encouraged to photograph themselves in both typical and unusual places to generate conversations about veterans and the many benefits of yoga. The four featured poses are “Proud Warrior,” “Powerful/Chair Pose,” “Downward Facing Dog,” and “Tree Pose.” After striking a pose, challenge “warriors” should submit their photos to the Goodwill Manasota Facebook page, with the hashtag #strikeaposeforvets, send an email to foundation@gimi.org, including their pledge amount and with the photo attached.

“The Connected Warriors Yoga Program has been an excellent addition to Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program, with its successful track record of healing and strengthening their minds and bodies. Yoga has provided an innovative way to help our heroes on the path to better health, regardless of the barriers they face,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “This challenge is a wonderful way to get people talking and have a bit of fun while positively impacting our veterans’ program. We hope people will get involved, support the men and women who have served our country, and enjoy a creative way to raise awareness of the benefits of yoga.”

Harriet Roberts, director of the Karma Yoga Outreach Program at Garden of the Heart Yoga Center, has seen the positive effects of yoga on veterans first-hand. She tells the story of one veteran who was particularly inspirational: he served in the Iraqi War, battled depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and suffered from a brain injury that left him in a coma. Following his awakening from the coma, he was wheelchair-bound and required a feeding tube. After becoming a participant in the Connected Warrior yoga classes, he now walks through the door on his own and does magnificent standing poses, like “Warrior 2.”

“We are honored to be the only yoga professionals in our community to share the healing benefits of yoga with our veterans and their immediate family members FREE of charge. Now in our second year, we have seen miraculous outcomes for veterans and their families,” said Roberts. “The partnership with Goodwill has allowed us to reach over 145 veterans of Vietnam, Korea, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and one from World War II. These veterans include those suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, combat stress, depression and physical disability. We hope we can continue this wonderful program delivering free therapeutic yoga to our nation’s warriors.”

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2014, Goodwill Manasota served more than 16,000 people, placed 680 people in jobs and assisted 520 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 39 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.