Released 15 August 2012
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It's Fitness Boot Camp time for many of the women currently staying in The Salvation Army's Compassion House Shelter - and that means a lot of hard work and sweat along with smiles, laughs and camaraderie. Local fitness center Hard Exercise Works is bringing their particular brand of fitness boot camp to the women to assist them with their personal goals of mental, spiritual and physical well-being while they strive for self-sufficiency.
"It's a win-win situation for the participating women," said Lt. Andrea Hoover, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army of Martin County. "Feeling better about yourself is often key in turning your life around. At Compassion House, we work with each woman on individual life plans to get them back on their feet - financially, emotionally and physically."
Hard Exercise Works is not only donating their time and significant energies to The Salvation Army's Compassion House, but they took their commitment a step further by collecting work-out clothing and shoes for the women. Compassion House Director Anna Rocha explains, "When Laura (the owner of the gym) decided to help the ladies, she immediately started collecting gently-used gym clothes, including pants and shorts, shirts, socks and sneakers. Many of the items were name-brand clothing and still had tags on them. She added that men at the gym were encouraged to give cash, which helped the gym to purchase some additional clothing in larger sizes that had not been donated.
During the first session of Boot Camp, five of the 12 women currently living in Compassion House participated. According to Ms. Rocha, the work-out lasted about 20 minutes and all five of the women completed the class. "They thoroughly enjoyed it too," she said. "The women were tired and feeling ‘the burn' of the intense work-out but were so happy to have Laura and her trainer, Janelle, bring their expertise to the shelter."
Hard Exercise Works is located at 1495 NW Federal Highway in Stuart. Their core beliefs include working hard, having fun and "conforming our lives to Godly standards." According to their website, this means believing in, and practicing, humility, honesty, sexual purity, financial stability and spiritual fulfillment. Lt. Hoover noted that "there is no doubt that owner Laura Traver believes in giving back to her community. We are so excited that her passion matches ours for giving others less fortunate a hand-up."
The Compassion House at The Salvation Army opened in late February of 2012 to provide safe, secure shelter to single homeless women and women with children. Since opening, the shelter has operated near capacity with an average of 14 women and 12 children. For more information on Compassion House, please call 772-288-1471 or visit www.salvationarmystuart.org.