November 24, 2014
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Vital Spark lights plethora of donations
Steve Popiel
IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SPARK: Pictured is Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio owner Cassandra Carlson, along with staff members, friends, family and community members who turned out to donate items for a family in need this holiday season. Donations are still being accepted at the Warwick fitness studio through Dec. 16.

Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio in Warwick (on the Cranston line) has teamed up with Children's Friend of Providence this holiday season to bring some happiness and cheer to a very deserving family of four – a young mom with three young girls ages 1 month, 2 and 6 years old.

“I decided Vital Spark was going to help a family this holiday season because I have been on the other side of this event at one time in my life. Being a single mother of three for several years, accepting help from friends and family was what carried me through many tough times. I, also, was the recipient of donated gifts for my children one Christmas and now it’s time to give back,” said Cassandra Carlson, owner of Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio.

After having their first drop-off date, Vital Spark will again accept donations from the community on Nov. 25, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m.

“I know how it feels to be a single parent and wonder how to make ends meet. I am not ashamed to say that sometimes I couldn't do it all on my own. Help is what gets you through the hard times and without the help from all the loving people in my life, I wouldn't be where I am today. It’s now my turn to give back and help a family the same way I was helped.”

According to Carlson, the family wish list is not that large. For the 1 month old girl, the family is seeking diapers (size 2), wipes, tummy time mat, activity gym, bibs, winter clothes (size 0-3 months), car seat toy, colorful mobile and a Fisher Price Go Baby Go Ball, along with other age appropriate baby toys.

The second girl, age 2, is in need of winter clothes (size 2T), socks, winter hat, gloves, princess pajamas, pots and pans play set, wooden puzzles, baby dolls, board books and a Little Mommy Bedtime baby doll.

The third girl, age 6, is in need of winter clothes (size 6x), socks, hat, blanket, Dora the Explorer doll, Littlest Pet Shop toys, Disney Princess Merida Doll (from the movie “Brave”), storybooks with animals, and a baby doll.

“Wrapping materials are welcomed as a donation also for the mother to wrap the items,” said Carlson. “Cash donations, gift cards and items not listed above are also accepted as long as they are age/size-appropriate for the children,” said Carlson.

Items must be new and unwrapped. Please do not include any personal information enclosed with your donation and any cash donations will be combined to purchase a Stop & Shop gift card to provide the family with a wonderful holiday meal.

“My love for working with people is a real passion,” said Carlson. “Being a fitness instructor is more than teaching someone how to do a pushup or Zumba. It’s about listening to them, understanding their needs and being a support and motivation for them to reach their health and wellness goals,” said Carlson.

Carlson opened the fitness studio last January and employs a staff of 10 instructors who are all certified and licensed, including CPR certified.

“I am proud our staff and participants who are stepping up to help out this family, as they are amazing people,” she said. “As I always tell our participants, we are all human and the grass may not always be greener on the other side. I hope to make this one of the best holidays this family will remember with the help of everyone involved.”

Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio is one of the newest fitness studios to open in the Warwick area, located at 158 Greenwich Ave. (across from Warwick Mall.)

For more information about the holiday drive, contact Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio at 241-8101 or visit www.vitalsparkfitness.com for further information on what the studio has to offer.


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