Meet Tanya Bierwirth + 50 Legs
The Boston Marathon has thrilling and sobering feelings attached to it after the devastating 2013 bombing. But Orangetheory Fitness, Concord coach Tanya Bierwirth’s run in partnership with 50 Legs, a charity that provides high-quality prosthetics to those in need, is not your average marathon fundraising story. Yes, she knew an acquaintance's sister who lost her legs while waiting at the finish line in 2013, but she never thought she’d hook up with 50 Legs for a run all her own.
Serve Kindness sat down to hear Tanya’s inspiring story.
How did you get involved with 50 Legs?
Five or six years ago I remember seeing a woman with a prosthetic. She was high-spirited and had such a positive attitude while volunteering at golf outings and things like that. But when I saw her a second time she had a new -- and improved-- leg. The transformation was amazing. The way she held herself, the way she walked upright with ease... I just couldn’t believe.
Flash forward to this past year, I was asked to join a group that was running the Boston Marathon for the charity 50 Legs. And believe it or not, I found out she was someone 50Legs had given a new prosthetic to. They’d taken her to Florida and it’s not just a leg they give. They support and stay with you until you are truly transformed. It changed her whole outlook and she didn’t have to pay a dime.
So where does Serve Kindness come in?
I approached my boss at Orangetheory Fitness where I am a coach. I asked Jess “What can I do? I would love to do something here.” And I left it with her. She came back about a week later and said, “I know Melissa and Jillian of Serve Kindness and we are going to do a pop up shop, sell these bowls, and benefit your race.”
How did that go?
I couldn’t believe how it snowballed into more fundraising! To date, we’ve raised over $1,000. The pop up kicked off my fundraising and I was so touched by everyone’s generosity and that they vouched for me. It meant so much. And the bowls are so beautiful!
How do you and Orangetheory Serve Kindness?
We are all about motivating people and helping them reach their goals. We provide an environment where they can enjoy reaching their goal-- and safely--and we welcome all levels!
How has working with Serve Kindness and Orangetheory and 50 Legs changed you?
It opened my eyes to the generosity of people. From my boss thinking of this idea on her own and supporting me to a member buying a small bowl for everyone on his staff instead of taking them to lunch.
Any advice for someone who might want to do the same thing and bring their work in to support a charity they believe in?
The first thing I would say is really believe in the charity you will work for and be educated. I saw it firsthand. I understood my organization. And I placed the idea in Jess’ hands.
So how did Boston go?
Did this experience change you?
Yes, the generosity was amazing. I was so overwhelmed by people’s charitable side and it all started with Serve Kindness. I didn’t know Jillian or Melissa. I’d never met them. Isn’t the generosity of people amazing?
Be sure to check out the amazing video from 50Legs about their work serving kindness to amputees.
We are always interested in learning more about charities serving kindness. If you have a charity you would like to nominate for inclusion on our website, or if you'd like to host a sale, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Serve Kindness is teaming up with The Food Project, one of Greater Boston’s best providers of wholesome food to the underserved, to support youth and community leaders who are changing the food system. Learn more about how The Food Project achieves its mission.