Miami School Partners With Organizations to Support Orphans of the Haiti Earthquake - Receives $80K Massage School Makeover

Dec 15, 2010, 16:57 ET from Massage Today

MIAMI, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Educating Hands School of Massage located in Miami — the 2010 Massage School Makeover recipient — is also the lead organization of 62 Kids at Mount Fleury, a group that has been working since the summer of 2010 to provide healthcare, food, education and permanent housing to the LaFond Orphanage in Haiti. Massage Warehouse, Massage Today and the World Massage Conference announced November 16, 2010 that the school is the recipient of the 2010 Massage School Makeover, estimated at more than $80,000.

Only after awarding Educating Hands the Massage School Makeover did the organizers of the event learn of their charitable work and fundraising efforts. "While Educating Hands' reputation is evident in every student who graduates from this world-class school, they are also a shining example of how businesses can give back to those in need in any economic time," said Sandy Pearce, Marketing Manager for Massage Today.

Michael Brechtel, Director of Education at Educating Hands, donated revenue from his massage services for a weekend to pay for airfare, local hospitals donated medical supplies, a doctor already in Haiti offered to see the kids at the LaFond Orphanage, and one generous client donated $5,000 — which was used to purchase additional supplies.

During the October trip, the group found the LaFond Orphanage in better shape as particle board transitional homes donated by the International Organization for Migration replaced the shredded tents and a nearby school had been rebuilt. After the successful October trip, 62 Kids at Mount Fleury is planning for a trip later this month to deliver toys, food and more medical supplies.

"At this point we have only a tiny fraction of the money required," said Michael Brechtel, Director of Education at Educating Hands. "The move of our massage school at the end of December provides another challenge, but we have faith that it will all come together at the last minute as it did in October."

In business for 29 years, Educating Hands was co-founded by Iris Burman, and has earned a reputation for massage therapy education excellence. "This award will allow a shining example of massage education to grow and prosper," said Scott Dartnall of the World Massage Conference. "They will receive enough equipment to supply a 10-bay clinic, a full stock of educational materials including textbooks, instructional DVDs, full body models for an anatomy/physiology lab, and computers and projectors for a complete audio/visual lab."

Educating Hands is scheduled to receive the donated products and equipment on January 6, when the Massage School Makeover Truck will arrive at the school's new, larger location. Well-known spa and massage therapy personalities, educators, students and alumni will be on hand to help unveil this year's Massage School Makeover including Angie Patrick of Massage Warehouse, Massage Today's Sandy Pearce and World Massage Conference organizers Scott Dartnall, Melanie Hayden, Eric Brown and Marla Gold. The Massage Nerd —renowned massage blogger Ryan Hoyme — will also be on hand.

The Massage School Makeover was the brainchild of Angie Patrick of Massage Warehouse, who partnered with the World Massage Conference and Massage Today to show their support for massage therapy schools, the foundation of the massage profession, and bring awareness of the need for professional-grade products in the education of future therapists.  

"This is an event born of love for this industry, and made a reality by the caring and compassionate people serving it," said Patrick, Director of Business Development and Corporate Sales for Massage Warehouse. "Without our professional product sponsors, none of this would have been possible. I am greatly humbled by the outpouring of support, and to reach this award plateau in such a finite universe as massage product manufacturers is staggering. In what many consider to be a downturned economy, so much graciousness and generosity can be clearly seen in the outcome of this project."

Massage School Makeover partners:

  • Massage Warehouse
  • Massage Today
  • World Massage Conference

SOURCE Massage Today