When monotonously using on a treadmill or elliptical trainer, what typically runs through your mind? Many of us zone out completely. However, the founders of the Good Gym thought of something entirely different: how exercising and social good can translate into an innovative volunteer program.
The founders were frustrated with how much time and energy is wasted in a typical gym, as well as how recruiting volunteers is often a challenging process. The Good Gym started out through the Social Innovation Camp in late 2008 and has been growing ever since. The Good Gym makes an explicit effort to work toward improving the quality of life for people over 65 by working with crucial matters like loneliness and isolation. Some of the tasks for the runners are as simple as delivering a newspaper and having a quick chat with less-mobile people in their neighborhoods. The Good Gym is currently running in Tower Hamlets in London, England.
This non-profit organization strives to create and foster an innovative model of voluntary action that allows the volunteer to get the most out of their experience, which will, in the end, create a larger number of people that are willing to volunteer regularly. Furthermore, to join the Good Gym doesn’t mean you have to make an enormous, time-consuming commitment. People are able to participate once in a while, on a consistent basis, with a friend, with a group or all by themselves. The Good Gym also works as a motivator for exercise since some people are more driven to get out of bed early to work out if they know that they are creating positive social change in their communities.
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