Once again our industry has risen to the occasion in offering help to those in serious need. Over the past few weeks, I've read about several spas and massage therapists hosting fundraisers to raise money for Haiti.

My admiration never ceases for our industry peers who so quickly jump in to help when tragedy strikes. We definitely are an industry that cares. That's why BIOTONE established our Community Outreach Award program a few years ago. We wanted to acknowledge and reward in some way the dedicated massage therapists who extend their loving hands to help their community.

In particular, the program provides grants to our massage therapy school partners for local volunteer programs. Through school community outreach programs, students engage with local organizations to provide massage therapy to individuals in need who might never otherwise experience the benefits of touch therapy. Not only do the recipients benefit, the students get great hands-on training and the opportunity to make a difference in their communities.

This year, BIOTONE is awarding Community Outreach Award $2500 grants to Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in Washington, D.C., and MTTI-WellSpring in Kansas City, Missouri PMTI provides its students with opportunities to work with people in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia who have never been exposed to massage or are unable to receive regular massage therapy - residents in nursing homes or retirement communities for example. MTTI-WellSpring provided massage to a patrol unit of the Kansas City Police Department that works in one of the city's most dangerous and crime-filled zones.

To these two organizations and so many others in our profession who give so selflessly to help others in need through healing touch, thank you!