Miss A Columnist

Brandy Voirin is a modern day fashionista who exercises her multitasking muscle on a daily basis. Brandy's a community volunteer extraordinaire” helping in the state of Texas, Boston, New Jersey, & New York. She's an avid traveler, mom, and can be spotted at runway shows, & charity events in Dallas & New York. She hosted Fashion's Night Out for Southlake Town Square which was picked by Vogue magazine as one of the 8 top places for FNO in Texas. Having sampled fashion and beauty delights from all over the world; this savvy traveler documents her adventurous life through her inspirational blog Bites of Style, where she informs readers on shopping and food tips; along with blogging about her life in fashion.

Global Mala Yoga Summit In Newark, New Jersey

Global Mala Summit New Jersey ( Photo Credit: GlobalMala.com)

Global Mala Summit New Jersey ( Photo Credit: GlobalMala.com)

It’s possible to have a Jennifer Anistin yoga body, get tons of swag, win a weekend getaway, and help others in just 6 hours this weekend. Intrigued, well read on. This weekend, the 7th annual Global Mala Yoga Summit, a day of celebrating and honoring peace, will be returning to Newark with a family fun filled day of yoga, inspirational speakers, raffles, and giveaways. Honestly, I’m eyeing the yearlong pass to Exhale Spa. I’m addicted to this butt shaping workout, which really  comes in handy for busy moms.  Not only can you get some amazing swag, but  this event gives you the opportunity to  “sweat for a cause” by giving 100% of the event proceeds to charities. Just take a look at a few of the charities I spoke to earlier this week to see how your time can really make a difference this weekend.


The Community FoodBank Of New Jersey: Julia Kathan Director of Public Relations

Volunteers At The Community Food Bank in New Jersey ( Photo Credit: CFBN)

Volunteers At The Community Food Bank in New Jersey ( Photo Credit: CFBN)

Q: Can you describe the ways  the proceeds from the Global Mala Event will help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey? 

A: The food and financial contributions from the Global Mala event will be used to provide vital help to hungry families, children, and seniors in New Jersey.  We know that more than 1.2 million people in the state, including almost 400,000 children, are facing hunger.  The Community FoodBank of New Jersey partners with more than 1,100 agencies to get food to those in need.

Q:  How many NJ residents does the CFB see on a weekly basis?

A: There is not a weekly number per se)  Last year, CFBNJ distributed 40 million pounds of food in New Jersey, helping to feed more than 900,000 hungry people.

Food collected by students for the NCFB ( Photo Credit: NCFB)

Food collected by students for the NCFB ( Photo Credit: NCFB)

Q:  What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about the Community FoodBank?

Many people would be surprised to learn about the size and scope of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, with our 285,000 square foot headquarters in Hillside, and 29,000 square foot branch in Egg Harbor Township.  We have a Kids Division that provides food through our BackPack program to help school children who might not otherwise have enough food over the weekend.  There are also Kids Cafes for nutritious after-school meals, Tools 4 Schools to get classroom supplies to financially-strapped districts, as well as Kids Closet, which provides new clothing to children in need.  A few of the other programs include our Food Service Training Academy, which offers hands-on job training, and our very active Volunteer and Advocacy departments, as well as the Kathleen’s Closet thrift shops.

Q: How long have you been involved with the Community FoodBank, and why is working there so important to you?

I joined CFBNJ at the start of the year as Director of Public Relations and Communications, helping to raise awareness about hunger in New Jersey, where people can turn for help, and what we can all do working together to make things better.  Every day, I see people making a difference right here in their home state, helping their neighbors in need.  The dedication and energy here at CFBNJ is so inspiring.


CHARITY: Sandy NJ Relief Fund:  Eileen Lofrese Communications Director

Sandy Relief Workers Helping Build Homes With Habitat For Humanity In NJ ( Photo Credit: SRF)

Sandy Relief Workers Helping Build Homes With Habitat For Humanity In NJ ( Photo Credit: SRF)

Q: Can you describe the ways the proceeds from the Global Mala Event will help the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund?

The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund supports leading non-profits working within the Fund’s four focus areas: Housing assistance, social services, counseling services, and e.t.c. Proceeds from events, like the Global Mala NJ in Newark, will permit the Fund to continue to provide long-term financial support to non-profit organizations assisting in recovery efforts.

Q: How many individuals does the Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund see on a weekly or monthly basis?

To date we have funded more than 80 organizations working within the Relief Fund’s focus areas.  We have awarded $20 million, to date, to help New Jersey residents, businesses, families and communities rebuild after the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  These grants have translated into:

·        35,218 Individuals assisted through case management services, direct assistance and benefits counseling

·        9,000 Meals prepared since Sandy feeding 80 individuals on average per week

·        1,210 Mental health services rendered since Sandy including counseling sessions, emotional support and mental health evaluations

·        319 Families are back in their homes, following the completion of home repairswith 247 home repairs currently in progress

·        230 Households provided financial assistance for utility payments, rent payments and purchase of furnishings

·        50 Small business loans granted

Q:  Why is working with this organization  so important to you?

Speaking on behalf of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund team, “We are happy to give back to a state that has given us so much.  Each of us has been impacted by Hurricane Sandy, whether it was a neighbor, a friend, a relative or personally. We have all been touched and are grateful for the opportunity to help our fellow New Jerseyans during this time of need.

Now doesn’t this make you want to run to New Jersey and sweat for a cause this weekend?  Yes! “Be the change you wish to see in the world”  –Mahatma Gandhi


WHEN: Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


The Science Park HS

260 Norfolk St. in  NEWARK

PRICE: Suggested Donation $27 but pay what you can $1 to $100.


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