My name is Sarah and I run the Youth United Global Action (YUGA) chapter at Blake Middle School in Massachusetts.
My guidance counselor and I started Blake’s first YUGA club in the fall of 2014. At first, I was very nervous about starting a club, but after a few meetings, I developed a small, yet efficient, group of passionate students. In the fall, we organized a number of successful events and activities to recognize Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign. However, our chapter seemed to hit a road block when we were brainstorming fundraising events for Plan’s holiday campaign, Give Differently.
The original idea for “Yoga with YUGA” came from our enthusiastic YUGA members! Two of our eighth grade members approached me with the idea of Yoga with YUGA after recognizing that their classmates kept confusing “YUGA” with “yoga”. We presented the idea of hosting a yoga class to the rest of our club and everyone thought it would be creative way to appeal to our classmates and a funny marketing scheme! We quickly began planning and decided the event would be on a Wednesday (the day when we held our YUGA meetings) and that one of my friends would lead the yoga class. My friend was a yoga teacher in training and had been really excited about the idea of YUGA, so this was a great way to get her involved!
Now that we had our yoga instructor, our next task was finding a place to have the class. Considering our club ran through the school, we thought it would be best to hold the class in the yoga room behind our gym. First, I spoke to my principle to get permission to use the yoga room and then we found an adult supervisor, a teacher in the school who ran a yoga club a few years back! We promoted our event by making daily announcements and encouraging our members to spread the word. Finally, after confirming the details with our adviser, yoga supervisor, and the yoga instructor, we made an official list of the students that signed up (10-12) and gave them all permission slips.
Then the big day came! I estimated that we would receive around $50 in donations, but we actually raised over $80! Not only that, but the yoga class was phenomenal and we had a great turnout! Everyone wanted to have another class! While our Give Differently fundraisers and events are ending, we are excited that our YUGA club found a healthy, relaxing and successful way to raise money and have fun. We can't wait to pick which Gift of Hope our donations will go to!