2019 MTF Community Service Grantees Announced

Posted:Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Foundation is excited to announce that selection of our 2019 Community Service Grantees is complete.

Our grant recipients this year include terminally ill homeless individuals, rural indigenous and urban poor diabetics in Mexico, cancer center staff, seniors with memory loss, and women recovering from the trauma of domestic violence. Check out all of the amazing and inspiring projects that have been selected below:


Compassionate Touch for Homeless at End of Life
$ 5,000
Pam Dent and Jane Collins
Heart to Heart Touch
Chattanooga, TN
This grant is sponsored by a gift from Biotone

This grant will support the Compassionate Touch for the Homeless at End of Life project which will train Licensed Massage Therapists and volunteers/staff of Welcome Home, a residential care facility for the terminally ill homeless. Volunteers and staff will receive modified Heart to Heart Touch Method: End of Life Care classes and Licensed Massage Therapists will receive a modified Pain and Palliative Care Massage class. Both of these classes are modified to address the specific needs of the homeless, who are often subjected to inappropriate, even violent touch. Welcome Home residents will receive free therapeutic massage using these methods, creating respite from their pain and anxiety and promoting a sense of self-worth. The project’s goal is to help improve resident’s overall emotional well-being through touch.


Diabetes Massage for the Underserved in Rural and Urban Mexico
$5,000
Leslie Korn and Rudolph Ryzer
Center for World Indigenous Studies
Olympia, WA

This grant will support the delivery of diabetes-specific massage and self-massage education for disadvantaged rural indigenous and urban poor people in Mexico who are otherwise unable to access massage. 41 individuals who have type 2 diabetes with sequelae such as neuropathy, edema, or other risk factors will be referred to the program by their health professionals. The project will also provide public Information presentations delivered to up to 35 health professionals to educate about massage for diabetes and to promote continuing support in the two communities. The project will raise awareness about the role of massage for diabetes type 2 in the medical, consumer, and local indigenous communities as well as enhance the specific skills of licensed massage therapists and nurses who conduct massage and teach self-care massage methods to consumers and their families.


Seated Massages to Decrease Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Cancer Center Staff
$ 4,780
Thomas Sullivan and Rebekah Frizzelle-Owens
University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation Inc.
Baltimore, MD

This grant will provide up to 288 seated massage sessions to nurses and other staff members at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center during working hours to relieve muscular tension in the back, neck, and shoulders and to decrease anxiety and other stress-related symptoms. Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue profoundly affect nursing staff in oncology units and negatively impact work performance.

A pilot study conducted in 2010 found that offering 10-minute seated massages to nurses during working significantly reduced stress-related symptoms and anxiety. Participants will fill out pre- and post-massage surveys that ask about stress and pain levels. Data from the surveys will be entered bi-weekly into a database and a complete in-depth data analysis and comparison and final report will be submitted at the conclusion of the project.


Comforting Connections
$ 4,475
Tara Woodside and Arianne Hegeman
Friends Village at Woodstown
Woodstown, NJ
This grant is sponsored by a gift from Biotone

This grant will enable Friends Village at Woodstown (FVAW) retirement community to launch a new program, “Comforting Connections,” that will provide seniors with therapeutic massage over a 12-month period. FVAW residents are adults over the age of 62 with a disability that prevents them from living independently, including Memory Support residents with a disability involving memory loss. Residents will receive therapeutic massage to decrease pain, inflammation, anxiety, and social isolation, increase circulation and flexibility, and improve communication with caregivers. Most FVAW seniors utilize their fixed income to pay for their health care and residential needs and would not normally have access to the benefits of therapeutic massage that this program will provide.


Loves Heals: Integrative Holistic Wellness for Women Experiencing Trauma
$ 2,000
Angela Lippman and Julie Paul
The Aloe Foundation
Austin, TX

This grant provides funding for 8 scheduled wellness events at SAFE emergency domestic violence shelter in Austin, TX. Each three-hour event will provide 15-20 women with massage treatments in a group setting. Survivors of domestic and sexual violence face overlapping and complex factors that inhibit their health, recovery, and wellness. Many deal with elevated levels of anxiety and/or depression and exhibit symptoms of PTSD. These free wellness events not only decrease stress and ease trauma symptoms but they serve a community that would not otherwise have the means or methods for such therapy.