Our Community Cares: Jennifer’s Story

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Jennifer loves her job as a fitness instructor with the City of Boulder, but due to the coronavirus she was laid off from her position this spring. She decided the best way for her to give back during the pandemic would be to keep her fitness classes alive by providing them to the community for free. When people began asking her how to pay for the classes, she told them to donate to EFAA, resulting in one of our biggest fundraising campaigns to date!

Here’s what inspired her:

How did you end up deciding to teach online classes?

Jennifer: I was laid off on March 13th, when the city came through and said that all rec centers would close due to the coronavirus. My friends said to me, “Jennifer, I don’t know why you’re not using your skills to teach.” And that was that. At first, we were meeting in big fields but soon the word started spreading and since we could not have more than 10 people together, I turned to Zoom. I reached out to the people I knew from classes as well as friends and told them what I was doing.

What inspired you to raise money for EFAA?

Jennifer: I just said to myself, I’m going to do this as a community service. I don’t feel comfortable asking people to pay me for this– I’m blessed with the opportunity to be able to provide this service for people. Eventually people started asking me, “how do I pay for this?” I told them the classes are free, but if you guys know of EFAA, this is our favorite organization that we’ve been supporting since 2006. You can make a donation to them instead.

What has been your favorite part of it?

Jennifer: One of my favorite parts is that Drew and Scott, my daughter and husband, are joining me every morning for my classes. They are always behind the computer exercising with me. Watching them get a good workout is so fun. We also have over 400 people signing up for our classes, which just can’t happen in a studio. They are from all over the country — people’s brothers, sisters, and friends who I’ve never met. It’s really unique.

What advice would you give to others who want to make a difference, but don’t know how?

Jennifer: I think that if you’re blessed enough to be able to give back, there are so many great things you can do. Take a look at your life and ask yourself, am I healthy? Am I safe? Am I able to pay my bills? Is everything okay in my life? If the answer is yes, reach out and see how you are able to help.

Feeling inspired? Start your own fundraiser for EFAA by visiting efaa.org/cares during the month of September!

You can also request to join one of Jennifer’s Zoom classes by emailing jenniferbergquist@comcast.net.

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