ATASCADERO — Since Jan. 1, Atascadero's Give Fitness has been challenging residents to complete a series of challenges to raise money for 10 local nonprofit organizations.
The program is social media-driven said Give Fitness owner Josh Donovan. Each of the challenges has a unique hashtag and when participants use the tag while posting a photo or video of themselves completing each challenge on Facebook or Instagram, they will earn one dollar for the associated charity.
"We've been getting a really good response," Donovan said. "The multi-faced approach here was helping to raise funds for nonprofits — that was a primary goal — but just educating the community about these awesome organizations that we have in our community, that was a big piece of it. And just giving people something to do in the new year, just a new way to get involved in fitness."
Most of the challenges involve trying an exercise or a piece of the equipment at Give Fitness such as trying the rowing machine to earn a dollar for RISE or trying to complete a pull-up to raise a dollar for the Atascadero Printery Foundation. The two non-physical challenges include taking a selfie with a Give Fitness staff member to earn a dollar for The Link, attending one of the gym's Service Saturdays to earn a dollar for Lighthouse or taking a selfie while wearing a piece of Give Fitness gear or merchandise to raise a dollar for Parents for Joy.
There are ten challenges altogether benefiting The El Camino Homeless Organization, The Family Care Network, Jack's Helping Hand, Lighthouse, Lifewater, The Link, The Mighty Oak Warrior Program, Parents for Joy, RISE and the Atascadero Printery Foundation.
Participants have until Feb. 28 to complete the challenges and those who complete all ten will receive an exclusive Challenges for Charities T-shirt and be entered into a drawing to win two Disneyland Park Hopper passes.
The winners of the drawing will be announced March 4 as Give Fitness celebrates its third anniversary with a party at the gym. Give Fitness will also use the occasion to present the nonprofit with the funds raised from the program along with the gym's annual charitable distribution. The charitable organizations will also have tables set up at the event "so that we can educate the community on who all these people are," Donovan said.
The Challenges for Charities program is open to Give Fitness members and non-members alike and Donovan pointed out that non-members who participate also get a free visit to the gym.
"They get a free visit — they can come in and work out, we just ask them to sign a waiver to cover our liability," he said. "But they're welcome to come in 10 different times, check out the gym and do the challenges."
For more information, visit givefitness.com or call 805-466-4483.