Student combines fitness and philanthropy to make a difference

By: Shaya Rogers, Staff Reporter

 When Business Major Hillary Barrows heard about a fire at a local homeless shelter, she said she was determined to help the organization while also helping the Albuquerque community.

Fit &Give is a not-for-profit program that will help students and mem­bers of the community reach their weight loss goals, while collecting money for Joy Junction.

Participants will meet in the Student Resource Center on Main Campus on Feb. 1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to begin the 12-week program.

“I’m hosting a fitness and weight loss chal­lenge and it’s similar to a Walkathon. Per pound lost, people will give pledges,” she said.

Joy Junction’s recent laundry room fire destroyed many items consider vitally impor­tant to the success of the people served, she said.

Participants will ask for pledges from friends and family in order to pur­chase items lost in the fire.

“I’m not sure how the fire started, but it destroyed all of their washers and dryers, so they’re having a hard time providing blankets to the homeless,” she said.

A representative from Joy Junction declined comment because paper­work for the donation is still in process, but said they always welcome donations.

Deciding to donate to Joy Junction was easy for Barrows, who thinks the idea of eating less iso others can eat more is a great concept, she said.

The program gives participants the ability to choose the best way to lose weight, whether that means a specific exercise routine or diet plan, she said.

“We’ll have meet­ings once a week that will incorporate differ­ent exercises. One of my friends was a cheerleader for 15 years, so she’s going to incorporate a dance that we could all do together,” she said.

There will also be other elements includ­ing personal trainers and motivational goodies, she said.

“We’ll have a lot of prizes to keep people focused and motivated. We bought a bunch, so far, that are work out related to help people achieve their goals,” she said.

The program is open to anyone who wants to get involved, she said.

“It’s open to any­body, as long as they’re willing to get fit and get some pledges to help out charity,” she said.

Barrows realizes the challenges people face when dealing with weight loss and has simi­lar reasons for wanting to get healthy, she said.

“I used to be really fit and I’ve had some devastation in my life and I know people go through those problems which causes them to gain the weight or not be as fit as they used to, so it brings them down,” she said.

Helping the commu­nity and helping inspire one another is something that makes this program different from others, she said.

“There’s a quote by Helen Keller that I am using forever. It’s, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’ That’s the whole idea of this group getting together and supporting each other while helping out the unfortunate,” she said.

Sponsors include L.A. Boxing, The Outpost Ice Skating Rink, Massage Envy and rock climbing gym Stone Age, she said.

Students, staff and faculty wishing to partici­pate in Fit & Give can con­tact Barrows at fitngive@ or like the Facebook page Fit & Give.

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