Our Volunteer of the Month is Loretta Turner! Loretta is Kula for Karma's Program Director, and works as a volunteer with at-risk youth, cancer patients, and young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Loretta was first introduced to yoga in the Fall of 2009 through the Ramapo College of NJ yoga club. She was immediately drawn to the asana that were so closely tied to her roots as a classically trained dancer. Over the years Loretta has had the pleasure of working with a diverse range of populations, including the women at Integrity House Newark. Loretta taught her first class there in 2013.
Here's what she has to say:
"I was so drawn to the women when I first started subbing at Integrity House Newark. There was something that kept me coming back, and in the beginning I really couldn’t articulate what it was. Fast forward a year later; I was witnessing firsthand how addiction can chew away at someone I loved. I began to realize how addiction had always been a part of my life… between hearing about peers lost to the heroin epidemic, to my personal struggle with prescription pills in my early teenage years. That is when I understood why I felt so connected to women at Integrity. I was able to see myself in them. As I sought out help to cope with the dilemma, an opportunity to teach at Integrity House regularly dropped into my lap. The timing was divine. I couldn’t say no. I was feeling helpless over my loved one’s addiction, and thought that if I could offer my knowledge free of cost to these women in need, it might make a difference in their lives… and maybe eventually make a difference in the lives of their loved ones. That would bring things full circle, and that seemed absolutely worth it to me.” Loretta has been at Integrity House Newark for 1.5 years. It has become an essential part of her teaching as a professional yoga instructor.
I am incredibly grateful to Kula for Karma for offering an opportunity to serve. As a volunteer teacher, and Kula’s Senior Program Director, I’ve noticed that the yoga we offer not only benefits the people need… but also our volunteer instructors. Seva is such a beautiful thing to offer. If you have the time and resources to volunteer as a yoga instructor… or any of the skills and expertise you have… I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.”
Thank you for all that you do, Loretta!