In our November/December 2012 issue, we wrote about Jayne Robertson and her commitment to contribute to a worthwhile cause. Her journey began over a year ago when she undertook the Global Seva Challenge, a fundraising effort as part of Off The Mat, Into The World (OTM), a yoga based non-profit in San Francisco. Each year, OTM raises awareness for a community in crisis. 2012 focused on the issue of sex trafficking in India and worldwide.
Jayne’s challenge was to raise $20,000 in order to spend three weeks in India supporting select organizations battling the sex trafficking epidemic. Although she had to overcome many self-trepidations in achieving this goal, Jayne raised a total of $28,000 through 14 different events, the selling of wristbands and t-shirts, and the help of generous donors.
“The experience was intense and amazing,” stated Jayne who was one of 18 OTM’ers to reach the goal and raise over $1 million dollars. “We had unprecedented access to young girls who’ve been rescued from the sex trade.” What Jayne found most inspiring was the astounding courage of the dedicated women who founded and direct these organizations; the young women who’ve been rehabilitated using Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) and now teach it to at-risk youth; and the rescued victims who are still able to laugh, smile and offer hugs. “The experience left us with heavy, yet hopeful, hearts.”
The OTM funds are being used to build a vocational training center, as well as a residence and safe house for older girls who’ve made their way into the mainstream workforce. Fundraisers provide support and encouragement for individuals and the life-saving organizations that assist them in recovery.
Before she left for India, Jayne was uncertain as to how she would continue to serve. Creating relationships, meeting the girls in person and walking amidst the colorful extremes and experiences of India, made that decision easy: stay connected to this particular cause and to OTM.
Jayne’s intention now is to hold additional fundraising events in the Coachella Valley throughout the year to contribute to a collective of OTM’ers committed to the cause.
“I was honored and thrilled at the number of people in our community who came together for this cause,” said Jayne. “Together we ARE making a difference and can continue to do so.”