Posted on November 18, 2016
HEATH – From now until the end of November, veterans can workout for free at Workout Anytime in Heath.
The gym is partnering with the organization Lift for the 22 to help veterans have a place to workout, meet other veterans, and reintegrate into society.
Lift for the 22 aims to bring awareness to veteran suicides, as well as prevent them. The program also aims to help veterans have a healthy lifestyle through free and affordable gym memberships.
“The worst thing is to have nowhere to go, nothing to do and sit in a room thinking about your past,” said Heath Workout Anytime Owner David Flanagan. “This gets them out of the house, gets them into the community, gets them involved with other veterans that are going through the same things they are. It also gives them an opportunity to get into the community and get involved.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, about 20 veterans committed suicide every day in 2014.
“Nobody’s really spent time with them, or given ’em a chance when they got back,” Flanagan said.
This is the second year Workout Anytime has nationally been involved with Lift for the 22.
“The purpose of the organization is designed to serve as a transitional organization for veterans returning from duty,” said Workout Anytime COO Mark de Gorter.
At the gym in Heath, veterans are welcome to come workout during the gym’s staffed hours. The program began on Veterans Day and lasts 22 days, through the end of November.
“We’ll get them involved in some of the different pieces of equipment, we’ll have ’em spend a little bit of time with our trainer so that we can make sure that they understand how to use the equipment,” Flanagan said. “We’ll introduce them to other veterans that we have within the club.”
Flanagan said they donate a lot of time and effort to the cause to try to get veterans in the club.
The Heath club as a whole is also doing an initiative where they are attempting to run, bike and walk across the United States and back. He said the veterans can help them achieve this goal.
Nationally, Lift for the 22 also works to get veterans free or affordable gym memberships. Veterans who are interested can apply online for assistance for memberships to their local gym.
De Gorter said about 180 veterans nationally have free memberships at Workout Anytime through Lift for the 22.
He said some Workout Anytime corporate employees and franchise owners are also veterans themselves.
“We’re just really proud to be a part of the group,” de Gorter said.
He said he wants to put Lift for the 22 out of business by reducing the number of veteran suicides to zero.
People who want to help can also make monetary donations online to help offset the cost of providing these memberships to veterans.
“It’s like anything. We’re not gonna change it overnight, but a little bit helps and goes a long way,” Flanagan said. “And if we can just make an impact on just one person, that’s a life saved.”
Where: Heath Workout Anytime, 960 Hebron Road
When: Through Nov. 30
Staffed Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Application for free memberships: liftforthe22.org/join.php