It Takes a Village

This past weekend, I witnessed Mike Hinkle, Cindy Michaels, and just a few volunteers pull off the World Massage Festival, undoubtedly the best massage event I’ve ever attended.  Next year is going to be even bigger and better, and before this weekend was over, there were more volunteers signing up for next year. That’s a good thing.

While it’s true that the people at the top of AMTA get paid, that organization would never survive without the volunteers who serve on the boards of state chapters, or serve as delegates, unit coordinators, and/or committee members.

State boards are usually composed of volunteers. While it’s true that in my state our travel expenses to and from meetings is reimbursed and we get a per diem of 50. for a half-day/100 for a whole day, no one is getting rich off of that. It takes me over four hours to travel to a meeting and I have to pay someone to run my office while I’m gone. We’re limited to paying 62. a night for a hotel.  I’m not exactly living it up at the Ritz when I’m on board business. There is no per diem for the countless hours between meetings that we’re reading minutes and agendas, doing research on issues we are considering, or drafting committee reports.

The board members of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, as well as the delegates, and the numerous volunteers on all the committees of the NCBTMB, and the board members for the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education also get their travel covered, but until you’ve served an organization like this, you don’t realize how time-consuming it can be.

Every day, somewhere, massage therapists are out giving their time to Hospice, veterans, cancer patients, premature babies, benefits for cancer and other worthy causes.

All these people have a life, a job, families and pets to take care of, school and church and civic and social obligations, but somehow they make it work.

It really does take a village.

Peace and Prosperity,

Laura Allen