Ignoring the forecast of rain at 8:30 a.m. on July 21, a group lined up towels on Pass-A-Grille Beach. Their morning mission was yoga, but for something greater than a good stretch and a meditative moment: helping the homeless.
Kelly McCabe, who teaches yoga around St. Petersburg and Pass-A-Grille, lead the class. Since November of 2017, McCabe and a group of friends have been meeting at St. Vincent de Paul shelter to give out pizza, cold beverages, socks, toiletries and more to those in need. The group calls themselves We Serve St Pete.
“We are a grassroots movement, basically a movement for connection with people who might be a little down on their luck,” said McCabe. “Our mission is you that you can serve any way you can.”
McCabe said it’s not hard to find motivation to help.
“Driving up [to the shelter] and seeing a line of people waiting. There’s people waiting to tell you a story; some people want you to pray with them and some people just want something to eat,” she said. “The motivator is seeing people that have something to look forward to.”
Leading the waterside yoga class is another way McCabe’s gives back. She’s lead one yoga for charity class in the past, but this is the first held to benefit We Serve St. Pete. The turnout for the class was good, and is something McCabe plans to do again the future.
“People in the yoga community are open and want to help,” she said.
McCabe said she realizes that not everyone has the time to go to a homeless shelter each week and serve food or hand out toiletries, but attending a yoga class for a goodwill offering is another way to help.
“It’s an opportunity to do some yoga and still contribute.”
The donation-based class raised several hundred dollars for the We Serve movement, which will cover the group’s pizza and toiletry donations for the next month. The class had a good turnout and is something McCabe plans to do again.
“Some people contributed even though they couldn’t come.”
The class was held in partnership with Nava Yoga on Sun Blvd. To find out more information about We Serve St. Pete, McCabe encourages people to reach out to her directly at 727-798-8740. Instagram users can also keep up with the group under the handle @weservestpete.