By LINDSAY CAREY
A Planstville yoga studio is holding a donation-based yoga class to bring in income for a Bristol charity organization that helps people transition out of homelessness into independent living. Soul Space Yoga &Wellness is holding “A Night of Yoga” to benefit For Goodness Sake on Feb. 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Yoga teacher and Executive Director of For Goodness Sake Kendra Morales will be teaching an all-levels flow class for $15 to benefit the charity she helped found in 2013.
For Goodness Sake began when Morales heard about some women and children who were staying at the St. Vincent Depaul homeless shelter in Waterbury.
“They needed some basic household items in order to start their homes,” said Morales. “They were actually afraid to leave the shelter, because they had nothing.”
Morales said she reached out to people in her network and received a good number of people who wanted to help.
“I sent out a plea for household furniture, and the next thing I know I’m renting a U-Haul and making 12 to 15 stops,” said Morales. “And before I knew it, my three-car garage was full of items.”
Morales said she found that there really weren’t any organizations helping to provide furniture and household goods for free.
“There are discount stores like Savers and the Salvation Army, but it’s still a lot if you’re just starting out,” said Morales.
Morales said that she was in yoga teacher training when she founded For Goodness Sake, and she used her first year of teaching to help fund the charity.
“In every yoga class you end with Namaste, which has a lot of definitions, but it basically means ‘the light in me recognizes the light in you,’” said Morales. “The light in me recognizes the light in someone that’s coming out of domestic violence situation or coming back from war or prison, and those people are a part of our mission at For Goodness Sake, so it’s a beautiful compliment to yoga.”
Once a month, teachers at Soul Space Yoga & Wellness donate their time to different causes and hold a donation based class.
“Soul Space is really dedicated to make a difference in the community,” said Morales.
In fact, the owner of Soul Space Yoga & Wellness and Anthony Jacks Wood Fired Grill Cheryl Moran is on the For Goodness Sake Advisory Board and has held events to benefit the charity both of her businesses.
For Goodness Sake is a completely volunteer organization and is funded by donors and grants. The charity is actually fiscally sponsored by the Main Street Community Foundation.
For Goodness Sake Director of Outreach and Community Relations Jessica Dunn explained that the money raised helps fund operating expenses. Not only does the organization use a truck to deliver donations of furniture and household items, they also go out and pick up donations on the same day they make the deliveries.
“Obviously it would be ideal if people could drop off their donations, but we understand that everyone cannot do that,” said Dunn. “And if we don’t get the furniture, then we can’t help the people we’re trying to help.”
For Goodness Sake accepts any kind of furniture like dressers and tables as well as new mattresses, blankets, pillow, comforters, and towels. Although they do no accept clothing and baby items, they do take bunk-beds and toddler beds.
“When you’re going into your first apartment, and you open up that door, we take everything that you would need to fill that space,” said Dunn.
For Goodness Sake is a partner of about nine local community organizations and helps people based on referrals from their partnering organizations.
These organizations include the Bristol Housing Authority, Bristol Community Organization, Bristol Youth Services, Family Resource Centers in the Bristol Public school system, the Parent and Child Center in Bristol, the Salvation Army, Southington Community Services, the Wheeler Clinic, St. Vincent Depaul Homeless Shelter, and the Prudence Crandall Center.
The studio for this event fits around 50 people, so those who would like to attend “A Night of Yoga” at Soul Space Yoga & Wellness on 28 W. Main St., Plantsville on Friday, Feb. 27 from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. should call 860-916-7138 to reserve a spot.
Those who cannot attend the event can still make a donation to For Goodness Sake by sending it in the mail to For Goodness Sake at PO Box 2124 in Bristol 06010 or using PayPal online by visiting forgoodnessake. org.