Posted on by Simon Pitt

Sarah Ingley stretched at Flow Space on Sunday and thought about her brothers who live in Puerto Rico.

Ingley was one of 14 members of a free yoga class at the studio, located at 117 NW 16th Ave. The hourlong class raised $350 for United for Puerto Rico, an initiative created by the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, to provide aid to the island after recent hurricanes.

The yoga event was one of many fundraising efforts established by UF students and Gainesville residents to send aid to the island. After Hurricane Maria hit, 100 percent of the island lost power, and it could be months before electricity is fully restored, according to The New York Times.

Ingley, the dance director at the Williston School of Dance, lost contact with her brothers for six days after Hurricane Maria.

“We were very worried about them because they were in a very remote, isolated area in the northwest mountains,” the 39-year-old said.

She said her brothers, who had a rainwater tank, have carried drinking water to other people in their town after many lost access to water.

“While they’re super fortunate, they understand that all of their neighbors are not,” Ingley said.

Lauren Douma, 29, a UF nephrology fellow, came up with the idea for a fundraiser and taught the class without pay.

“Watching my friends and my classmates, seeing how stressed they were, the fact that there was something so catastrophic happening where their families are living, and they can’t get in contact with their families, it just broke my heart,” Douma said. “I just felt like I had to do something and so I figured what better way than to hold a free yoga class.”

Source: alligator.org