Congratulations to Massage Without Borders (www.massagewithoutborders.org), which the organizers of the World Massage Festival have named as the recipient of the 2013 Aunty Margaret Humanitarian Award.
Massage Without Borders is near to my heart; it is an organization of volunteers who are coordinating fundraisers to raise money to help massage therapists in financial crisis due to natural disasters, health concerns or other challenges. Founder Gloria Coppola saw a need and she went into action to fill that need. I am touched and inspired by Massage Without Borders’ grassroots outreach and how its volunteers are stepping up to help colleagues.
When I first spoke with Gloria, who is also an educator and owner of Massage Pro C.E, back in November, Hurricane Sandy had just devastated portions of the East Coast. It was the hurricane that spurred Coppola to rally vendors, organizations and individuals to join together to donate funds and equipment to massage therapists wiped out by Sandy.
The award is named for Aunty Margaret Machado, who was a master practitioner and instructor of lomilomi massage. “People came to her from all over the world and attributed miraculous cures to her work,” notes the World Massage Festival website (http://worldmassagefestival.com). “Winners of the Aunty Margaret Humanitarian Award have freely shared their expertise and compassion with the industry.”
MASSAGE Magazine had the privilege of co-sponsoring Massage Without Borders’ first major fundraiser, an online auction that raised more than $4,000.
The first recipient of funds was Monique DeLozier Frost. Her story is told in the April issue of MASSAGE Magazine, along with an announcement of Massage Without Borders’ next fundraiser (“Massage Without Borders Announces Art Auction”), which takes place May 12 to 18.
“It’s hard being a giver, someone in the healing profession, to not be prepared to help others,” Monique told me. “If I wasn’t affected, I’d have been at the soup kitchen or moving furniture out of homesâ€”but when you’re a victim yourself, it’s hard to wrap your head around being there for others.”
Thanks to Massage Without Borders, therapists like Monique will be able to pick up, move on, and get back to helping their clientele.