Laura Hale moved to Dallas in 2007 after graduating from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Though she’s originally from Philadelphia, Laura quickly made Dallas feel like home by diving into exciting career paths, saying yes to new adventures, making wonderful friends, and exploring her new community. She pursued her passion for service by joining a local church and committing to volunteer opportunities offered there.
Ten years later, Laura is thriving in her life in Dallas, along with her husband and their two dogs. She recently transitioned from her job as an E-Commerce Manager specializing in luxury products, brand management, social media, and marketing and has taken her digital expertise to the world of commercial real estate. She has maintained her passion and commitment to service in her role as a volunteer for the Letot Center, a girls’ residential treatment center that’s part of the Dallas County Juvenile Department.
For the past three years, Laura has served as an assistant in a weekly yoga class for the female residents at Letot. Yoga is a calming, gentle practice that offers the girls the time and the space to process their emotions as well as allowing them to get some good exercise. Laura does the class alongside the girls and performs as a model for many of the poses. Laura is a yogi herself, and she learned about the volunteer opportunity through Super Yoga Palace, where she often takes classes. She was inspired by the call to empower these vulnerable teenager girls through yoga, and she loved the idea that her hobby could help transform lives.
The weekly yoga class meets on Sundays and starts with an introduction from the instructor, who explains the purpose and intention for the day’s session. “We start with a stretching warm-up and usually do about 5-10 poses, including balance and strength,” Laura says. “The girls love pushing themselves trying to do backbends, the splits, or crow pose.” After class, the instructors and volunteers focus on teaching the girls a little bit about nutrition, exposing them to fun foods and introducing them to alternate styles of eating by preparing snacks inspired by a plant-based diet (which is part of the overall system of practices of yoga). Snacks range from vegan macaroni and cheese and fruit to everyone’s favorite—guacamole!
Laura loves watching the girls learn and grow during the classes, and she especially enjoys when they push themselves to show off their flexibility and the things they’ve learned. She says it can be difficult to form lasting bonds with the girls, as residents arrive on a weekly basis and can change frequently. But she loves what she does and she shows up with a smile every Sunday afternoon, ready to stretch and snack and chat with the young women at Letot. We are inspired by her commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm.
If you are interested in volunteering with Letot, you can begin their volunteer orientation process. For more information on the yoga classes and how you can get involved with those, please contact us here at Dallas Doing Good.
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