31 Instructors Share The Causes They're Supporting This #GivingTuesday
December 1, 2015
On #GivingTuesday, 31 instructors open up about the causes close to their heart and how they give back all year long...
My father was diagnosed with ALS the summer of 2014. It's definitely been the most challenging process of my life. I was introduced to PROJECT ALS by Julie Rice, co-founder of SoulCycle, in the beginning of 2015. Since then, I have been very involved in this organization. We raised $100,000 at our SoulCycle event in Bridgehampton led by Stacey Griffith. This organization has shown me hope, and to hold on. Every dollar they raise goes directly to research literally the next day. Since my father’s diagnosis, I feel grateful every morning I wake up — and for the unbelievable support I have received from the SoulCycle community and for every single stroke I make on that bike and, of course, for my amazing father and family.
One of our UWS riders, Tiffany Lacey, created ANIMAL HAVEN, a wonderful, growing organization that helps find homes animals — dogs and cats — that have seen some unfortunate circumstances. She's one of the kindest souls I've met and it is evident in every aspect of her organization and all she does to make New York a better place for animals.
THE HEROES PROJECT is very near and dear to me. They just summited Mount Kilimanjaro on Veteran's Day and it was on CNN!
I've been a volunteer with THE ART OF ELYSIUM for several years now. They offer art programs of all kinds to hospitalized children in L.A. I do improv for kids in their hospital rooms and try to make both them and their parents laugh. It brightens their day and is the highlight of my week!
THE PATH FUND is an organization that raises money for arts education. The Path Fund goes beyond just donations; they also motivate and cultivate amazing young artists who may have never realized they had such abilities. Sometimes the invaluable act of just telling someone “you can do it” changes everything.
I give to Bill Foundation, which is the Los Angeles rescue foundation where I adopted my dog Nick.
Being a parent, there is one cause very close to my heart: PROJECT LINUS, which blankets kids with care. Every child needs a security blanket — especially kids who are seriously ill or who've undergone some kind of trauma. Project Linus makes sure that these children have something to snuggle up with. Volunteers create homemade, washable blankets of all sizes and styles and distribute them to kids "in need of a big hug." Since 1995, Project Linus has given 673,000 blankets to children in countries around the world.
A close to my heart is people living with HIV or AIDS. I have completed five AIDS LIFECYCLE rides and I am hoping to complete my sixth this summer. AIDS LIFECYCLE raises funds and awareness of HIV/AIDS. I also recently started volunteering for GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER, which is a non-profit organization that delivers meals to homebound people with not only AIDS but other illnesses as well.
RAISING MALAWI, founded by Madonna and Michael Berg, strives to end the extreme poverty and hardships endured by Malawi's 1 million orphans and children. Check out www.raisingmalawi.org to learn more and donate.
I support BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS!
I am a huge animal lover and advocate. Adopt don't shop! I'm such a believer in that. I stand behind THE NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE and everything that they do. They go to the ends of the Earth to help dogs. My dog, Jack, was saved from the meat trade in China. My sister in law's dog, Tigerlilly, was saved during Hurricane Katrina. Please donate at www.animalleague.org and help in whatever way you can!
A cause that is very close to my heart is the UNITED MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE FOUNDATION. My cousin Mary has a very rare Mitochondrial Disease. She is one of three known causes in the country, sharing this illness with two other beautiful children. I hope that we will be able to find a cure one day.
I am an alumni of THE LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY’S TEAM IN TRAINING. It's an organization that raises funds to help cure blood cancers while training for high endurance events such as triathlons, full and half marathons. I've run a few events with an amazing team in memory of my Aunt Paula.
In college I worked for THE GRASSROOT PROJECT. The organization mobilizes D.C. area collegiate athletes as health educators to teach middle schoolers about HIV and other topics relevant to adolescent health. Year after year I met amazing kids and watched them develop the tools they need to make healthy decisions! I'll never forget my years with TGP! #shoutout
WATSI.ORG does phenomenal work in developing areas without access to medical resources. Similar to how you'd use Kickstarter to back a project, Watsi allows donors to fund specific patients' medical procedures. Donors then receive updates on the patient's procedure and recovery! As a former editorial volunteer with Watsi, I can't say enough about how amazing the team is, and how committed they are to making sure every patient receives the care they need.
THE TREVOR PROJECT offers support for suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. There are SO MANY opportunities from volunteering on the hotline to coordinating events besides just donating money to actually help make positive contributions!
A cause close to my heart is SHATTERPROOF, an amazing organization dedicated to ending the social stigma and proliferation of addiction in young people across America through legislative channels, early screening and education. It’s a truly amazing organization aimed at helping youth understand and deal with an all too common and life-threatening disease.
Animals are very near and dear to my heart! So I love these local organizations: SOCIAL TEES ANIMAL RESCUE is a great place to adopt or donate! One of my best friends adopted her cat there and he is the best! Also HORSE RESCUE UNITED saves horses from abuse and slaughter and finds them their forever homes. As a horse owner, this is something that is very special to me!
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. What I really love about this organization is its work around our "next generation of eaters" — a.k.a. our children! CUESA teaches kids about eating well and equips them with kitchen skills so they can grow into healthy adults who cook!
Take 5 Give $5 — on the 5th of every month, pass along $5 at any point during your day.
A very important cause for me is helping young athletes physically and mentally. I help them prepare for whatever adversity they may face, by instilling work ethic and determination, which can lead them to their dreams.
AUTISM SPEAKS is a cause close to my heart. My mom works closely with children who have special needs, and a few of her students have autism. With time, patience and care, they are leaping bounds and making progress. I find it all remarkable how the human brain can overcome such obstacles.
ASPCA is very special to us. We adopted our Field Spaniel, Domino (see photo!), from them three years ago, and we simply cannot imagine life without him. He has brought so much love and joy to our lives!
FOCOS ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL in Ghana has become a cause close to our family’s heart. The hospital is funded mostly by donations; its mission is to improve the quality of life for thousands of children and young adults in desperate need of orthopedic surgery.
A cause close to my heart is Vest-A-Dog. As a dog lover, I have always believed that animals are family. When I was 11, I met a Los Gatos Police Officer and his K-9, Quartz, and wondered why Quartz did not have a bulletproof vest. I raised money to purchase Quartz and two other Los Gatos K-9s bullet and stab-proof vests through an organization named Vest-A-Dog. The department still uses those vests to this day!
A cause very close to my heart is a children's home in Netanya, Israel called BET ELAZRAKI. Bet Elazraki is a warm, loving, thriving environment for children whose parents are unfit to take care of them. I have had the privilege to work there for a couple of summers and witness the incredible and dedicated work of all the staff. Their main goal is to break the vicious cycle of distress that has been part of the children's lives, and set them up for success and a bright future.
Prior to SoulCycle, I worked at FREEDOM FOR ALL, an non-governmental organization that works to end modern day slavery by implementing sustainable solutions to end the cycle of slavery and forced labor. Pictured above (with me, far left) are just a few of the young survivors enjoying their freedom.
A friend of mine started an awesome online organization called BRIDGE2ACT. It raises charitable donations for worldwide non-profits by partnering them with digital and social media influencers. Personally, I've been working to raise money for The Water Collective and The Hunger Project. You can learn more or donate HERE.
A cause close to my heart is a local DC non-profit called FOOD & FRIENDS, a meal delivery and nutritional counseling service for individuals with life-threatening illnesses. I try to volunteer with them at least once a week.
A cause that is close to my heart is BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF NEW YORK CITY. It's a great mentoring program for kids in need. I'm currently waiting to be matched with my little!
THE DOCUMENTING HOPE PROJECT is extremely close to my heart. We need to heal children and prevent future chronic health conditions. Please read below to learn more about this incredibly powerful and moving project. Let’s raise awareness and get involved: The Documenting Hope Project, a not-for-profit science and media initiative, aims to run a pilot recovery program (with 14 chronically ill children), document their recovery scientifically (collecting relevant biomarkers and observational data), and capture their inspirational stories on film. The Documenting Hope Project seeks to inspire parents, physicians, and policy makers to think differently about children’s health and redesign a system that truly understands how to prevent and reverse chronic health conditions. Documenting Hope is a people-powered project. We are currently raising money so that we can pay for the full healing and recovery of the 14 children and also document it rigorously. To learn more, please watch the film trailer included HERE, tell your friends, and please make a donation today.
Learn more about #GivingTuesday HERE. Want to ride at SOUL? To book a bike, grab a series HERE then book a bike! Questions or comments? Email email@example.com!
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