GREENBRIER Curves of Greenbrier took a detour for a month and instead of charging their new patrons a joining fee, they simply asked them to donate food.
More than 500 pounds of food was collected. Many of the existing members of Curves also jumped in to contribute groceries to help with the effort. The food was given to Heaven's Gift, a clothing and food bank located in the Professional Plaza on Business Park Road.
Although Curves of Greenbrier has been in the Greenbrier Crown Plaza on Wilson Farm Road for 10 years, Almond has owned the Curves business just since January. She decided to not only boost her membership but do something that would benefit the community as well.
That is when the idea of helping those in need was born.
Curves is a nationwide organization dedicated to cardiovascular and strength training and firming and toning of men and women. They use hydraulic machines that are safe for individual's intensity levels. Each member usually pays a joining fee and a small monthly fee for unlimited use of their equipment and workouts. Workouts are usually no more than 30 minutes and Almond suggests three times per week to change your life and fitness. If your Medicare health plan offers a SilverSneakers program, you may work out for free.
Almond said, "I was really excited and pleased about the amount of food that was donated. We also increased our membership because they all like the idea of helping." If you would like to help or join in this effort, you may call Almond at (501)336-7426.
Cheryl Loetscher, executive cirector of Heaven's Gift, was chosen for the donations because "she has the gift of compassion and administration," Almond said. Loetscher has been helping people in need since 2003 when she started as an art center in Conway. When there was an explosion of a business in 2003, she used a vehicle to pick up food and help Church Alive feed 400 to 500 people. That was when she realized her purpose in life was to help people, she said.
She now has a $1,000 per month budget and depends a great deal on donations and fundraisers. They hold three major fundraisers each year: the Christmas Exposition with close to 40 vendors at the Greenbrier Fitness Center and two yard sales. They even have a 2004 Cadillac Escalade that was donated just about the time Loetscher's vehicle was about to quit.
Under their Angel Food Ministries nationwide program, they distribute a box of groceries each month to needy people who sign up for what they want. If they can afford to pay, the box is $30 and includes about 19 items even frozen meats and seafood. Loetscher was quick to point out, though, that no one is turned away who cannot afford food. They also have a clothing shop available and a small housewares collection of items like linens, some furniture, small appliances and electronics. Most items are only $1.
They are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays for donations and pickups. They will accept donations at other times if you call Loetscher at (501)993-3943.
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