Thea Gow-Jarrett’s infectious energy and joy for yoga has lead her to Semperviva, working behind the front desk at the Kits Beach studio and heading up community events. When she isn’t on the mat you can find her raising awareness and money for amazing causes! Her next fundraising focus is Yoga Aid with a Just For Fun Dance Party! happening on Wednesday 22nd August and the Yoga Aid World Challenge on September 9th. Find out more here and prepare for FUN!
In the past 4 months I have seen more displays of selfless giving than I can count on 2 hands.
I have found myself surrounded by countless creative, thoughtful, generous and straight up inspiring people in the Kits community.
And I am so grateful!
In March I decided to take on the challenge of raising over $7000 to benefit imagine1day. Every dollar raised will fund a grade 1-4 primary school for the Alose Community in the South of Ethiopia. The little kids in this community are currently trying to learn on the floor of a makeshift classroom in a school that only serves Grades 1 & 2. The nearest alternate school is over 2 hours away by foot so most children are forced to drop out. Imagine1day will provide this community with a new school, faculty offices, a library, school furniture, teacher training, water source, latrine, PTA training, and seed funding.
I realized quickly that I was going to need a LOT of help to raise this money. As soon as the thought struck me I became completely paralyzed by the idea of actually looking someone in the eye and admitting, out loud, I couldn’t do this by myself! Laying my vulnerability bare for all to see, risking the chance of getting a big fat NO turned me into a stuttering, sweaty mess.
I painfully remember my first sit down with a friend to ask for her support. I fumbled over my words, trying to find the right way to say ‘I need your help with this and I want you to be excited about it too’ and by the time I’d finished spluttering she had a big grin on her face. ‘Of course!’ was all she said but it changed how I felt about asking for help completely!
By the end of our meeting I had shifted my mindset from asking for help to empowering others to give back themselves. I was offering her an opportunity to be part of something bigger than herself and she was happy to jump on board!
Every volunteer that supports my projects do it because they want to be part of something good. They benefit because they are stretching themselves beyond their regular everyday life and are directly affecting the future leaders of Ethiopia through the opportunity of a quality education.
3 months later and I have dressed up in many ridiculous costumes, danced my way across Vancouver, and thrown the Summer Camp party to end all parties! It’s been a wild ride of a fundraiser! I am awe inspired by the giving nature of people and am humbled by the opportunity to lead this effort. I have a new found appreciation for the generosity that lives in the human heart and have learned to trust that instinct in people.
Last month Emily, a 9 year old girl, donated $100 to my fundraising goal. Instead of birthday presents this year, she requested donations for imagine1ay and then chose to support my goal with her collection. If that doesn’t give you hope for our future on planet Earth, I don’t know what could!
Vulnerability breeds trust and asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. My fundraising experience has led me down a path of hard work, community building and a whole lot of love and inspiration. I am so incredibly grateful for those around me and the support and energy they have given to creating something amazing on the other side of the world. My intention is stronger than ever and is buoyed by the love that radiates around me.
I will leave you with a favourite prayer of mine that means more to me every day…
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which means: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.