A yoga studio in the B.C. Interior raised more than $2,500 to assist one of their members who recently left an abusive relationship.
The Blissed Out Yoga and Fitness Studio in 100 Mile House held a 90-minute yoga class on April 8 with admission by donation to raise the money and also accepted e-transfers from their members to raise the funds.
The studio organized the fundraiser after it was brought to owner Karen Peterson’s attention that one of their members, who must remain unidentified, was going through a difficult time and needed help.
According to Peterson, the woman was ending a toxic marriage and left home with her children. The woman found a new home for her family, but couldn’t come up with enough money for rent.
“She felt stuck in this relationship because she couldn’t financially afford to leave it,” said Peterson. “I have gone through similar experiences in my past marriage. I know what it’s like to have nothing and to depend on a person, even if that person is the one who is abusing you.
“It was a very brave decision to leave.”
After a brainstorming session, studio members created a Facebook post explaining the situation and announcing the fundraiser class.
Almost immediately, Peterson said she started receiving donations through email and after just two days the studio was able to pay for the woman’s first month of rent. Within four days, enough money was raised to secure a used vehicle for the woman and her children.
“After the actual event, we secured enough money to get her insurance and groceries,” Peterson added. “It was this rippling effect of love and support from the people who share the space of the studio.”
Peterson said the studio is like a support group and someone is always willing to help, no matter what the situation is.
“At the studio, we call ourselves a “tribe” and anybody who walks through that door becomes a part of our tribe,” she said. “It’s such a family here.”
Peterson described the woman as a quiet type at first who has become more engaged over time. She said that when the woman learned what the studio had done for her, she was overwhelmed with emotion.
“I don’t think anybody has ever done something like this for her,” she said. “She was so grateful and touched by this act of kindness.”
After a few weeks, the woman seems to be in a better place, Peterson said.
“If we stick together and help one another, we can achieve great things and make opportunities such as this, a reality for someone.”