TRURO - Jeff MacKinnnon could do nothing but smile Thursday.
Minutes after instructing one of the biggest yoga classes in Northern Nova Scotia, he found out he had helped raise enough money to send 60 houses to Haiti for earthquake relief.
"Absolutely," he said. "Hopefully we can turn it into an annual event and it will keep growing year after year and whatever the cause may be, I'm sure there will be tons. We'll pick a different cause every year. I think its great for everyone."
MacKinnon and his staff at Breathing Space Yoga Studio, along with MacKinnon's Yoga 11 class at Cobequid Educational Centre, teamed up with Ian MacHattie and fotocan.org to come up with enough to fund 60 houses, which cost $500 each. The 60 houses will fill about half a shipping container to the devastated country, which was hit by a 7.0 earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010, killing 220,000 and leaving 1.8 million homeless.
Part of the fundraiser featured a class of 94 students at the NSAC on Monday, which is the largest ever in the region. MacKinnon was trying to top that mark Thursday at the former Vocational School gym, which was also the culmination of the CEC's first semester of Yoga 11, and featured 86 participants. The final $775 was raised at the class to complete the 60-house mark.
"The turnout was really good. I was loving that," MacKinnon said. "Maybe if the weather had been better maybe we would have had a few more people, but hey, I'm ecstatic; $775 raised, that's awesome."
MacKinnon and MacHattie started discussing the topic after running into each other in town recently. Both had seen the Haiti House set up at First United Church and thought they could so something to help.
"I'm trying to teach my Yoga 11 class about karma yoga and selfless service for others and we did a couple projects this year and Ian said this could be the grand finale for the whole thing and I thought, 'hey, perfect timing," MacKinnon said.
The houses will be shipped to Haiti in late February.