Mindful Yoga Chicago Teacher Emergency Fund

We are starting the Mindful Yoga Chicago Teacher Emergency Fund due to the recent Covid-19 Pandemic. We’re in an industry where if classes don’t happen, we cannot provide income to our instructors. Currently, with all of our partnership agreements, we are unable to teach. MYC was designed and planned to be recession-proof: we offer affordable and even free classes to support our community, budget our classes and scheduling with advancement payment to support our instructors, run on low overhead (which is why we don’t have our own space and even donate supplies to the park), and we have opted to grow slowly to manage our budget without leveraging debt. We planned for economic downturns but what we didn’t plan on was being unable to operate for an unknown period of time.

I want to tell you about our instructors. They are kind and compassionate. While we don’t underpay our instructors but many have started with us knowing there are other places that may pay more. They are teaching here while we’re growing and increasing pay as we go along to support the mission and vision of the organization: to create more compassionate communities through mindfulness, yoga, and meditation by decreasing barriers to access regardless of physical or economic ability. I often have to remind them that they cannot always do things for free like teach classes, come in to clean props, and other things to support the community without payment. Some of our teachers are currently in other jobs that are either not affected or have other forms of income by the pandemic and are offering to support other teachers in need. None of our teachers work here full time but some have lost all forms of income because of the other industries they are in. Nobody has asked for money or financial assistance from us but for those of us who have experienced financial hardship before, we know asking for help is often the hardest thing to do.

We are not looking for handouts-- we’re still here for our community. In lieu of our in-person classes, we’re moving our organization online temporarily to include online yoga classes, audio meditations for stress relief, and a book club to help stay connected during social distancing. We’re still here to support you especially in times that may be stressful and appreciate any donations that can support our instructors so they can take care of themselves during stressful times.

What will the Mindful Yoga Chicago Teacher Emergency Fund be used for?

This will be used to provide financial support to our instructors in financial distress. 


How can I watch or listen to the classes?

For the most up to date information, sign up for our newsletter  or go to our website. 


How will it be distributed?

Funds will be distributed on an as-needed basis and will be rationed out based on need, number of instructors, and time of need. Instructors requesting support have let us know what their minimum expenses are that are not being met by income. Funds will be dispersed bi-weekly unless there is a crisis need like eviction, medical treatment, or food shortage.


What if there’s extra money?

For full transparency, MYC has not prepared for a situation that supports our instructors if the business is disrupted completely for an unknown period of time. It also brings to mind that many of our instructors do not have access to affordable healthcare. Any extra funds will be saved for future use specifically for a situation like this.


Shouldn’t you have a budget for this?

Yes and going forward we will. I’m looking into how to run a fund like this on an ongoing basis. It has always been our mission to support our community and to create sustainable income for teachers to continue staying in a profession. This was a situation we didn’t plan for and need to accept that this may be our new normal facing some of the new challenges we’re experiencing


What if I want it to go to a specific teacher?

Please email us with confirmation of your donation and it will be distributed to the instructor. Please note, myself and several other teachers have opted not to take donations personally and it will go towards the general fund. However, if they do require financial assistance in the future, the fund will be available to them.

How come I don’t see my teacher on the donation classes online?

For many of our instructors, this is a stressful time and learning something new like online classes for a temporary period may be an additional stressor. As facilitators who support the idea of compassion and kindness not only to others but to themselves, we are not requiring anyone to teach right now to take care of themselves. Myself and the instructors who have opted to teach online is not an indicator of who is receiving the funds.


I don’t want to or cannot donate to the teacher fund for my own personal reasons, can I still watch or come to the classes?

Yes, while this fund is here to support our teachers, we are still here for our community regardless of physical or economic ability. You can watch for free or if you prefer to donate your money to the park, you can donate a supply to our Amazon shopping list for Lincoln Park Cultural Center , Sheil Park, or Revere Park .

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Donations ()

  • Rick Vanko 
    • $10 
    • 22 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 2 d
  • Donna Bloniarz 
    • $25 
    • 3 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 4 d
  • Michele Clair 
    • $40 
    • 4 d
See all

Fundraising team: Mindful Yoga Chicago Teachers (4)

Melissa Leger 
Organizer
Raised $460 from 12 donations
Chicago, IL
Erica Bentley 
Team member
Raised $10 from 1 donation
Anastasiia Prodan 
Team member
Kelly McCloughan 
Team member
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