We are honored to have been named a 2015 J Team grant recipient!
It means a lot to us for Street Yoga’s mission be supported and embraced by the Seattle community. We are touched and humbled to accept $1500 from J Team for our Yoga for Youth programming. We wanted to share with you the story and process by which Street Yoga was selected for this gift, as well as the reflection of one of our volunteer teachers who met with J Team.
One of our Volunteer Teachers reflects on her experience meeting the J Team members and teaching them a short Street Yoga class:
Yesterday I had the honor of representing Street Yoga in accepting a $1500 donation to our organization from an amazing group of Jewish teen philanthropists called the J Team, and teaching them a short, sample yoga class. These teens met for a whole year, and after brainstorming (see their awesome brainstorming sheets above) all the issues they might want to consider supporting, they voted to focus on youth homelessness, and then did a lot of research of local organizations. Eventually they voted to share their earnings between Street Yoga, and the amazing organization New Horizons, and then set out to fund raise. It was truly inspirational to sit with these teens, their leader, and Mark from New Horizons, and talk and learn from each other. Thank you, J Team!
Q&A with a J Team Member:
Can you tell me a little about J Team?
J Team is a Jewish youth philanthropy group. This year we’re comprised of about 12 high school students from the Greater Seattle Area. In J Team we learn how to evaluate a non-profit, how to fund raise, how to analyze a annual report, and what a 501c3 is, all while discussing current issues. Throughout the year we work together to identify a problem that we would like to address, then we begin to look for non-profits that align with our goals before donating a portion of our raised funds. J Team is constantly evolving, and there is a short application process. J Team typically meets once or twice a month during the school year. J Team doesn’t have a set mission statement, but it would be something like “To educate youth on current issues and philanthropy with a Jewish context”.
How did you choose Street Yoga as one of your grant recipients?
The entire process of finding a non-profit began in our first or second J Team meeting. We all wrote down a bunch of issues that we think are important and would like to consider donating to. After some discussion and voting, we decided to address youth homelessness in Seattle. One key points that made this issue stick out for us was that the issue is so present in our lives and extremely relatable, as a lot of the teens on the street could be us. One thing that was important to us when considering an organization was whether they provided a permanent solution or just temporary relief. My sister, Mia, had some previous knowledge of Street Yoga, so we proposed your organization at our initial non-profit brainstorming session. The group loved the idea of Street Yoga. As a group of very privileged teens, the idea of providing emotional relief while maintaining peace of the body was very unique and appealing. So, at our final decision meeting, we unanimously voted to give to Street Yoga (although only a two thirds majority was needed).
What about Street Yoga’s work most resonated with you?
I addressed this a bit in my previous answer, but I can dive a little deeper. J Team recognized that we take a lot of our comfort for granted, and a lot of the other organizations we were looking at were shelters. Once we’d raised the funds, we decided to donate to two charities. We thought that shelter, immediate relief, and practical training were all very important, but recognized that for some, peace of mind may be just as important. So, we finally decided to donate to New Horizons and Street Yoga because we felt that combined, the two non-profits addressed many of our original goals.
Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share with the Street Yoga community?
Ooh! I think this quote fits really well with J Team’s mission this past year:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
I would like to thank the Street Yoga for giving your time and effort to such a good cause. J Team believes that you are doing very important work, and we hope our contribution helps Street Yoga’s continued efforts!