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On the Importance of Giving Back as a Business {And Ways to Get Involved in Yoga Reaches Out}

My first year photographing Yogathon and my very first press pass.

My first year photographing Yogathon and my very first press pass.

I give back because it feels good.

I give back because I truly believe that every bit adds up. Every ounce of energy given, every dollar fundraised, every email and social media post to drive awareness makes a direct impact.

I give back because I believe in karma.

I give back because I've been there. Just before my third birthday, I spent three months in the ICU because my heart wasn't beating normally. You can read my heart story in an blog post I wrote before my pacemaker surgery last year.

But mainly, I give back because I can. A marathon runner friend of mine told me an inspirational speech from the day before she ran the Boston Marathon where the speaker said to be grateful that "you can". And not that you can finish the race, but rather that you can start it. You can walk to the starting line. You can give a day of your life. You can be present. You can fundraise. It's not to say it's easy. You may have limitations. But, there are people who can't. So while you can, act.

Act and give in ways that are meaningful to you. We all have causes that affect us personally. Likewise, we all have ways we can give that our uniquely ours. For me, I have the resources, the knowledge and, most importantly, the passion for photography, so that's how I give.

What's your passion and how can you translate that to support an organization you care about? Know that your time, your energy, and your expertise go a long way in the limited resource world of nonprofits.

I'm also pretty good at fundraising and commit a goal to raise $1,000 for Yoga Reaches Out in the spring $1,000 for The Alzheimer's Association in the fall. It's easier than it sounds and I challenge you to commit a goal to raise funds as well!

1,000 yogis filling the field last year!

This year will be my fifth year photographing and fundraising for Yogathon, a day of amazing yoga with a purpose to give back to children's charities. The main beneficiary is Boston Children's Hospital. This year, the funds will support the Hale Family Wellness Center to, among other things, expand their  yoga, meditation, reiki and massage programs. At a recent committee meeting, we were given a tour of this amazing facility and I can tell you first hand what a difference this center would have made for my parents when I was hospitalized. This center provides a chance for families and patients to step away from their illness, their upset, their hospital life, and come back into their bodies. It provides a chance to refresh and restore.

Knowing that I can help give this to someone else is why I give back.

If this speaks to you as well and you'd be interested in getting involved with Yoga Reaches Out, there are many ways to do so. New England Yogathon will be held on May 1st in the Gillette Stadium Field House. {Yes, that's where the Patriots practice!} You can...

Team Power Yoga of Cape Cod led by Jill Abraham
  • Join my team! Commit to a $250 fundraising goal and join us on the field for a full day of yoga, amazing food, vendors, massage, reiki, and more with an incredible community of 1,000 like-minded yogis! All levels including beginner yogis are welcome.
  • Create your own team! Gather your friends, your family, your local yoga or fitness studio, your church group, your neighbors, and their friends, too!
  • Volunteer! We are looking for volunteers to help with day-of support as well as 200 hour certified yoga instructors to provide hands-on assisting. {email: maureend5@yahoo.com}
  • Become a Sponsor! There are $1,500 to $50,000 sponsorships available for those interested in contributing as an individual or as a company.
  • Provide an in-kind donation! Just how I donate my time on the day of to photograph the event, many other people provide in-kind donations to further support the day. Things like water bottles and other hydration, energy bars and other noms and apparel for the presenters are great examples! {email: mlynott@yogareachesout.org}
  • Donate. I personally commit to a goal of $1,000 every year. If you're feeling inclined, help me get there!
  • Attend a fundraising event! There are many across MA and RI and you can find out more details on the YRO website. I will be offering "Pick a Pose" at two benefits in April where you can be photographed by moi for a suggested $10 donation per pose. 100% goes to YRO.
  • April 8th: Endicott Estate {SIGN UP HERE}
    • Pick a Pose 6:15-6:45pm on the beautiful lawns of the Endicott Estate. 
    • Doors open 6:15, Class starts 7:00pm
    • One hour and 45 min vinyasa flow, instructed by Danny Dwyer, Lauren DAngelo, Joanna Losty and a savasana by YRO founder Sarah Gardner.
  • April 22nd: Universal Power Yoga {SIGN UP HERE}
    • Pick a Pose 6:00-6:45pm
    • 90 minute class with live music led by Jen Merola Palmer and Jacqui Bonwell starts at 7:00pm

You now have all of the information on how to get involved in an event, in a cause, that speaks to me. But if there are other events, other causes, that speak more to you, I highly encourage you to reach out and give your time, your energy, your in-kind or financial donation. Do it because it feels good. Do it because what goes around comes around. Do it because you can.

The 2016 Yogathon Beneficiary, The Hale Family Center for Families at Boston Children's Hospital

If you are interested in booking a photo shoot for yourself or your yoga studio, please contact me today!