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Spa Community Reaches Out to Hurricane Victims

The victims of Hurricane Katrina will be relying on the help of others for a long time to come and a variety of organizations are coming together to help those who live and work in the area begin to pick up the pieces, including those in the massage and spa communities.

Spafinder.com launched an online bulletin board, www.spas-helping-spas.com, to assist hurricane victims find new permanent or temporary jobs and housing. The purpose of the board is to help members of the spa community ask for and offer help. The board has allowed spas located throughout the country to post job and/or housing opportunities and it also allows displaced massage therapists and others in the industry to post their resumes and contact information. The board also serves as a place to post members thoughts and feelings relating to this disaster.

"As spa professionals, we are a community and it is our hope that facilitating communication among us can result in getting some needs met quickly," commented Spa Finder President, Susie Ellis.

The Day Spa Association (DSA) and the International Medical Spa Association (IMSA) have set up a Spa Community Relief Board on both organization's Web sites: www.dayspaassociation.com and at www.medicalspaassociation.org, respectively. Any member of the spa community who needs assistance and any members who can offer employment and/or shelter to qualified displaced personnel are encouraged to post. The board also serves as a place to post ideas of how to help those most affected, such as adopting a spa in the devastated area and donating equipment, products, discounts, etc.

The International Spa Association also is helping out by partnering with the Travel Industry Association of America, the Travel & Tourism Coalition and the Travel Business Roundtable to offer a free job bank to help workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The job bank was launched September 15 and is available at www.katrinajobs.com. The site will include a section for postings by both those seeking employment and companies with positions available.

"With so many hotels, shopping and gaming attractions, restaurants and other travel-related businesses devastated by the hurricane, the travel industry was particularly hard hit," said TIA President Roger J. Dow. "The goal is to help provide work as quickly as possible for those who have been displaced."

Massage Today, the print and online publication from which SpaTherapy.com was launched, has created a Web page solely designed for massage practitioners who would like to take in a displaced massage therapist and/or help them find temporary massage work. If you have a position available, know someone who does, or simply have an extra room in your office (or home), post your message at http://DisplacedTherapists.MassageToday.com. While many displaced therapists may not have access to the Internet anytime soon, it's hoped that through word of mouth and other channels (e.g. the American Red Cross has been made aware that these opportunities are available), this Web site will serve its intended purpose.

Massage Today also wants to share your story - your experience with the disaster relief effort, whether as a practitioner displaced by the hurricane or as a therapist from a neighboring (or distant) state who provided compassionate care, organized a donation drive, participated on a disaster response team, etc. In the coming months, Massage Today will publish as many stories as possible in Massage Today and on MassageToday.com and SpaTherapy.com. For more information, please contact us at 714-230-3150 or editorial@massagetoday.com.


  1. Press release from Sarah Spain at Spa Finder (www.spas-helping-spas.com).
  2. Press release from Debra Locker at ISPA (www.experienceispa.com).
  3. Press release from Hannelore R. Leavy at The Day Spa Association (www.dayspaassociation.com).
  4. www.medicalspaassociation.org.





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Date Last Modified - Wednesday, 17-Dec-2008 12:44:25 PDT