We did it! On to Haiti…

We did it!!! Today officially ends the Global Seva Challenge for Haiti, and over the past eight months, we together as a community have raised more than $23,000! Thank you to everyone who purchased Malas for Haiti jewelry, generously donated or attended To Haiti With Love DC events, or helped spread the word about the cause, especially in the final weeks of fundraising. This incredible achievement would not have been possible without all of you. And we are all part of a larger community–across the country, more than 60 participants in the Global Seva Challenge collectively raised more than $300,000 for this incredible cause!

On to Haiti… On February 5, I will board a plane to Port-au-Prince with a group of 10 other yogis from around the country who also successfully raised at least $20,000, along with the Off the Mat, Into the World team, including yoga teacher Seane Corn and teacher/musician Suzanne Sterling, for the Haiti 2012 Bare Witness Tour. We will travel through Haiti for two weeks, connecting with the individuals and organizations that your donations are going to support and assisting with various projects, including installing water filtration systems, contributing to the construction of a community center and children’s center, meeting and learning about the women who are receiving small business loans, and helping to remove rubble from streets and project sites.

Stay tuned, I will be blogging in this space, documenting this extraordinary journey.

Connecting through Seva: Sharing the Journey

The beginning of my OTM journey, at our DC intensive back in March.

I am continually filled up with gratitude for the ways in which the Global Seva Challenge and my journey with Off the Mat has allowed me to connect with people with whom I never would have crossed paths otherwise. This weekend, I headed “home” to the Philadelphia area for a family commitment. But while I was there, I dropped by a lovely yoga class taught by my friend and fellow Off the Mat leader Maura Manzo. The class, which Maura teaches every Saturday morning on the rooftop deck of a local Whole Foods store, began as part of her own Seva Challenge journey last year for South Africa. She’s kept it up since then as a community class.

My sister and I laid out our mats with a bright-eyed group of yogis. In addition to the amazing sun-basked class, Maura gave me ashout-out to let her regular students know that I was there visiting and currently fundraising for the Seva Challenge for Haiti. I received some donations and sold some of my Malas for Haiti jewelry after class as a result, and received some impromptu seva mentoring and support from Maura over juice later.

I am honored and humbled to be part of this amazing community of yogis and activists. Everyone I have met through Off the Mat has been an angel on my journey, shining a light on my path and lending the type of support that can only come from someone who has walked the very same path of growth and transformation.

Om shanti!