A national massage educator has launched a fundraising effort for massage therapists affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Gloria Ku’uleialoha Coppola, who owns Massage Pro CE continuing education company, is accepting gift cards for distribution to massage therapists along the Eastern Seaboard. She has also set up a Facebook page, “Massage Therapists Helping Massage Therapists (Storm Sandy)” (http://www.facebook.com/HelpMTs) to serve as a clearinghouse for information on how massage therapists can assist their colleagues, and is organizing a fundraising event.

Coppola, who is originally from New Jersey, said she has been contacted by many massage therapists—both colleagues and former students—who have relayed to her the extent of the damage from Sandy, stating that many massage therapists’ practices are destroyed.

“One massage therapist I know owns a mobile spa business, and she has 22 massage therapists out of work,” Coppola told MASSAGE Magazine.

Coppola is suggesting that people purchase gift cards from companies such as MasterCard and Visa, so that affected massage therapists can purchase food and clothing.

Coppola is assuming responsibility for distribution of the the gift cards, which can be mailed to:

Gloria Coppola

PO Box 1477

Marion, North Carolina 28752

She is also seeking:

• A central distribution center where donations may be brought; and

• Sponsors to help set up, fund and provide material support to fundraising events

Companies that have donated or agreed to donate, so far, include Custom Craftworks; Oakworks; MASSAGE Magazine; 3B Scientific; and Scott Dartnall, developer of the American and Canadian Massage Conferences and the online World Massage Conference.

Click here to go to the Facebook page or send an email to massagewithoutborders@gmail.com for more information.

—Karen Menehan

Related article:

After Hurricane Sandy, Massage Therapists Reach Out