Community Outreach Corner
As we finally come out of the grasp of an unusually long spring and enter summer, some outreach opportunities are starting to bloom.
At our Spring Conference this year, I had the great opportunity to meet a fellow massage therapist, Kelly Crocken Figi. Kelly has a charity named “Hands To Help”, which provides free massage therapy to terminal, elderly, and disabled patients. She has several fundraising events throughout the year with proceeds going to her organization and is always looking for volunteer therapists to lend a hand (preferably two). Kelly and her charity are located near Belleville, IL.
She has two events scheduled so far this year; one is Saturday, June 2nd and the other event is Saturday, October 13th. To find out more about the events, “Hands To Help” and how to volunteer, contact Kelly Crocken Figi directly at 618-363-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further north in Elgin, Illinois, there is a new opportunity to assist in a free Clinic. The Clinic is “Heal Elgin Free Clinic” and offers medical, vision, dental, etc. services to those who may be homeless or just in need of free services. The free clinic will be held on Sunday June 10th from 9am-4pm. There are some details that I need to clarify at the time of this article. Contact me directly (see below) if you have an interest in volunteering for this event and I can update and provide further information.
Lastly, people often comment on how they would like to volunteer but a certain event may not be feasible to them due to location. I have two suggestions regarding this issue. Illinois is a big state. For someone to volunteer up north when they live down south (and vice versa) will not always be practical. My first suggestion is to put your “ear to the ground” and “listen” for a need or opportunity locally. You have a wonderful gift you can share within your own community. The AMTA-IL Chapter would love to help you develop events and find volunteers to help staff those events. All you need to do is ask.
My second suggestion is teaming up with an organization that already exists and has local events throughout the state. A great organization I highly recommend is “Relay for Life.” Unfortunately, most of us if not all of us, either have been affected by, or knows someone who has been affected by cancer. “Relay for Life is a community driven event that celebrates survivors and their caregivers, remembers those we have lost to cancer and helps to fight back by raising money and awareness to help save lives from cancer.” If you go to www.relayforlife.org you can look up local events and find contact information to the person in charge of that specific event. From there, contact that person and explain you would like to volunteer your services as a massage therapist for their event. I have had good experiences doing this.
Personally, I will be volunteering at a Relay For Life event on June 1st from 6pm-Midnight at Northwestern Medicine Field, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva IL. I would like to extend an invitation for other AMTA IL members to join me that night and offer Chair Massage. Contact me directly at 224-622-8067 or by email at email@example.com.
Enjoy the summer, be safe, and volunteer! -Tony Karoumi