A local organization is up for a sizable grant from a national company. Yoga 4 Change is the only group in the area within reach of $10,000 from KIND Snacks.
Kathryn Thomas got her yoga certificate in December 2012 and started the organization. In the past year, it's had a big impact on the Jacksonville community, breathing new life into people who wouldn't normally get a second chance.
"We started a program here with the veterans who are in the HUD-VASH. These are houseless vets who are dealing with every day living situations on top of physical ailments, disabilities, PTSD," said Thomas.
Yoga 4 Change doesn't stop there. She also works with at risk youth and people in correctional facilities.more
The kindergartners effortlessly balanced their bodies on one leg, flamingo-style, and adopted the tree pose. They stood ramrod straight and stretched their arms as high as they could in the mountain pose.
They dropped to the floor, got on their sides and did the gator chop.
Then came the jungle run, with each of them trying to tag each other as they ran around and around in a big circle, followed by quiet time and a positive chant: “Peace begins with me!”more
Since I was young, my heart felt a strong connection to anyone in need, especially kids who were poor or abused—knowing they had to struggle and overcome more in life.
Growing up, I was very social and had a good sense of what society expected from me. So, I performed well, made friends, and met societies expectations.
However, there was always someone in my class who was not as accepted.
I sensed their pain and I was empathetic to their suffering. I knew they didn’t have some of the advantages I was born into —loving parents, encouragement and happiness. I never let myself take what I had for granted. I knew I had it better, simply because I was born into a different family—even then, I knew I was a lucky one.more