Taking on a fundraising challenge is tough at any time, but during a global pandemic it took on an extra edge for Mischa and Raoul. Their love of yoga kept them inspired, and they ended up raising more than $4,000 for The Yoga Foundation.
Mischa and Raoul’s relationship with yoga (and with each other!) began 18 years ago, when they met at a lunchtime yoga class at Raoul’s workplace. Shortly after, they met Michael de Manincor, the founder of The Yoga Foundation, became ongoing attendees of his classes, and a few years later became some of the first supporters of the foundation when it opened in 2009.
Since then, Raoul has become a monthly donor and Mischa has begun teaching yoga classes on behalf of The Yoga Foundation. They both believe in the power yoga has in supporting the mental, emotional and physical health of students and practitioners alike, and the connections it provides between individuals within the community. “We have seen the benefit of this in our own lives,” Raoul explains. “Yoga is a foundational aspect of our personal relationship and an ongoing commitment to our health and wellbeing.”
In 2019, Mischa and Raoul took on their first 'no drinking in July' challenge, choosing The Yoga Foundation as the organisation to support. This year, with the COVID-19 crisis prompting a couple more glasses of wine than usual at the start of the year, they thought it was appropriate to give it another go. “We think that there are health benefits in taking a break from alcohol, and hope that doing so ourselves on a regular basis may inspire others to do the same,” Raoul says.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Yoga Foundation has been supporting Mission Australia and Youth off the Streets to respond to the needs of those facing domestic violence and abuse and at-risk youth. The Yoga Foundation had their cause page established on the GiveNow website, which allowed Mischa and Raoul to quickly and easily set up their Crowdraiser page and start receiving donations from their friends.
“Most of the donations were from friends and colleagues that we know well. But, I was pleasantly surprised to have a donation from a colleague who I had never met in London,” Raoul says. In the end, the couple raised over $4,000 on behalf of The Yoga Foundation, well and truly meeting their fundraising target. The cherry on top was Raoul’s workplace matching his fundraising under the Macquarie Group Foundation staff support policy, significantly increasing the impact of their efforts.