“Believe it or not, my first day working at Boston Children’s Hospital was at the Yoga Reaches Out event last year! I could instantly feel the high energy when I entered Gillette Stadium. Coming from someone who has done yoga enough times to count on one hand, the energy gave me an instinctive feeling to jump on a mat alongside the 1,000 like-minded people there that Sunday. I felt a part of something much greater; a part of all these people who’d come together for a larger mission: to support patients and their families.
Along with the other yogis, I had the opportunity to listen to patients and other speakers’ experiences and stories about the hospital. Even with such a large group, it still felt like an intimate and inclusive setting.
It really foreshadowed what I’ve discovered by working with my team in Special Events. We create each and every event with the patient stories in mind, and we also make sure participants are having a great time doing things they enjoy. It definitely gave me all the hints I needed to know that I made a good choice to work here at Boston Children’s Hospital.
In preparation for Yoga Reaches Out 2019, we’ve gotten out in the community to get to know our yogis and fundraising teams. It’s made me even more excited for this year and thinking about the greater impact we can have on the hospital. Being able to connect in person was an amazing feeling. We met with Erin McKay from Treetop Yoga and Beth Manning from Flow Yoga. It was inspiring to simply be in their studios and witness the engaged and excited community come to class in the space they lovingly created.
I love that the impact created by Yoga Reaches Out supports unconventional things for patients and families. Other than funding research and care through The Every Child Fund, which is enormously important, we also raise funds for the smaller pieces, like the Puppy Program where the patients can interact with dogs right by their beds, serving as an immediate stress reliever. We also have clowns that the kids know by name who come around and do celebrations, like birthdays. There are many other things The Every Child Fund supports, like a holiday gift giving event that wouldn’t be possible without the money raised from Yoga Reaches Out.
It is very unique, what Boston Children’s has done. The hospital fostered an environment focused on kids, and, to me, those little perks are my favorite part because it’s different than other types of funding. I was over at the hospital one day and there were Nickelodeon characters hugging and interacting with the kids. That is a dream come true for a little kid! Little touches like this let kids know that the hospital is a place they can feel safe and even have fun at.
To be able to help coordinate these ‘sparks of light’ and fundraise in any way we can is rewarding.
Obviously, in the back of our minds, we know kids are here because they’re sick. They’re going into a surgery or whatever’s happening, yet they’re still surrounded by brightness and color and it’s a totally different environment than what may be going on in these families’ minds and lives. That is huge.
Even if it is a busy day, I never feel stressed because I know I am helping patients and families at Boston Children’s in some way. It doesn’t feel like I am doing work to do work. We’re all here because we know the people at our events are going to raise money and give to the hospital. We all have a greater purpose in coming to work.
I don’t know if it’s entirely my personal mission, but I just like helping people. Being new to Boston Children’s and seeing how much of an impact Yoga Reaches Out has on the hospital is amazing. Joining this team has been the best change I could have made in my life. I was in a stressful and unhealthy environment previously and being here has created a ‘zen’ feeling that makes me excited to come to work every day.” – Lauren
Every year Yoga Reaches Out harnesses the incredible power of the yoga community to enhance the lives of patients and families. Join more than 1,000 yogis in raising funds for Boston Children’s Hospital. Together, we’ll gather at Gillette Stadium Empower Field House on Sunday, April 28 for a day filled with inspiring presenters, friends and the power of seva. To learn more visit www.yogareachesout.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Check out our other inspiring stories of everyday yoga practitioners and please, #ShareToEmpowerALL ! We strive to empower others to get vulnerable, and be inspired to start a yoga practice of their own to bring in hope & possibility.