Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

this practice is partially funded by KCRW

it's winter pledge drive time again at KCRW, the local NPR radio station. for the past four or five years now, i've volunteered to answer the phone lines at the studio in the basement of nearby santa monica college. and it's been a very rewarding experience, not only because i've been donating my time to help them raise funds to keep the station on the air, but because i continue to get more out of it than i put in. or so it seems.

if you've been following my posts, you'll know that i've been getting great discounts on my yoga classes, courtesy of the KCRW fringe benefits card. everyone who donates $50 or more to the station gets the card which entitles them to discounts at stores and restaurants throughout the LA area. if you want to be considered a savvy angeleno, you MUST carry one of these in your wallet! you'll end up paying less for food, clothing, books, music, and yes, even yoga. and if you add up all the money you've saved throughout the year, you'll find that you've more than recovered the cost of your $50 investment.

for example, here are my yoga savings so far:

center for yoga (aka yogaworks larchmont) - $2 off individual classes
city yoga - 15% off individual classes
forrest yoga - 20% off individual classes and series
liberation yoga - 20% off individual classes and series
maha yoga - 15% off individual classes, 10% off series
sacred movement/exhale yoga - 15% off individual classes and series
santa monica yoga - $2 off individual classes, 10% off series
yas - 20% off individual classes, 10% off series
yoga works - 20% off individual classes and series

i recently landed a fantastic deal, thanks to my KCRW discount. for christmas, my sister chose to give me a series of 5 classes at sacred movement. the regular price was $70 for 5 ($14 per class). subtracting the KCRW 15% discount knocked it down to $59.50 ($11.90 per class). after throwing in the "buy a series, get 2 free classes" exhale coupon i got in the mail, i ended up with a total per-class cost of $8.50, almost half of what a class purchased singly would cost!

the pledge drive continues through monday, the 6th. i'll be working almost every evening between now and then, and while i'm there, i'll be enjoying even more benefits accorded to all pledge drive volunteers: free food courtesy of local restaurants (it's akin to being on a cruise ship, with an endless supply of food), free CD's and station stuff, discount coupons to stores and restaurants... the list goes on. i've worked a variety of shifts and have had a chance to meet almost all the station DJ's (and it's true what they say about DJ's looking nowhere like their on-air voices). i've also met an eclectic variety of volunteers, from entertainment types in-between gigs to retired people trying keeping themselves occupied to those who somehow manage to find time in their busy schedules to help out.

i may be putting in a lot of volunteer hours, but i'm really just giving back to them what they've given to me. sounds like a fair exchange, doesn't it?