Author Archives: Minna Lehtinen

3rd December 2014        Holiday Giving     1 comment

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Rebecca chose Yoga Activist.

I chose Yoga Activist, a nonprofit organization based in DC that seeks to promote yoga outreach around the country. Many studies have indicated that yoga has wonderful health benefits, from reducing blood pressure and facilitating weight loss to combatting anxiety. Practicing regularly can be empowering, and doing so with others builds community.

Yet, yoga classes often do not serve diverse populations. The cost and location of yoga classes sometimes means that many cannot take advantage of the benefits that yoga offers. Yoga Activist was founded as a way to combat this inequality by helping to make yoga – and its benefits – accessible to more people, with special emphasis on underserved communities.

Yoga Activist offers by-donation teacher trainings to individuals who are interested in volunteering to teach in these communities. They curate diverse online educational resources for volunteer teachers that help them learn more about the specific needs their students may have. For example, those struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder may have different sensitivities than the homeless. Very young students in schools will have different mobility and attention spans than those in elderly housing facilities. Yoga Activist seeks to serve all of these communities and more. They also act as a liaison for social service organizations looking to introduce yoga into their programs.

I have the privilege of working for Yoga Activist’s sister organization, Yoga District. This separate but linked collective of studios shares many of Yoga Activist’s goals. They strive to meet people where they are, by opening neighborhood studios and offering affordable yoga with sliding scale payment options for those in need. Belonging to this community has been rewarding for me. I hope that this gift will make this experience possible for others.

To donate to this organization, you can click here.

2nd December 2014        Holiday Giving     No comments yet

December 2nd, #GivingTuesday, is a global day to celebrate giving back. At Conover + Gould, we have so much to be thankful for, and we try to reflect on that often. But we love the idea of having a day dedicated to giving back to those who have less. This holiday season, the Conover + Gould team will be making donations to eleven nonprofits that we admire, and we will each blog about our chosen organization. Minna and Heather are making donations to the American University of Nigeria Foundation (AUNF).

AUNF supports the work of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and furthers education of disadvantaged children in northeastern Nigeria by raising funds to provide them full scholarships. Our donation will go towards AUNF’s #EducateOurGirls campaign which provides scholarship funds for the 21 Chibok girls at AUN.

The world was outraged and vented some of its anger and frustration through #BringBackOurGirls after close to 300 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in Chibok by Boko Haram last spring. 58 girls jumped from trucks, ran for their lives and escaped their captors, and 21 of those brave young women are now studying at AUN. They were admitted this fall to specialized remedial education programs on full scholarships so that they can adjust both academically and personally and successfully complete the exams that they were taking when they were kidnapped.

We have both been touched by these girls and their stories. The amount of courage, determination and strength they have displayed is just incredible. We know we have been incredibly fortunate in our lives and have taken our educations for granted in so many ways. We are inspired and humbled by the 21 girls from Chibok. Girls like these will change the world.

If you would like to donate to this cause, we recommend doing so today on #GivingTuesday when the Foundation’s online donation transaction fees will be waived. Click here to donate.