Message from SPARK's President
One Year of Free Reiki in Chinatown
Free Reiki I in the South Bronx
Busy Spring and Summer 2010
140 People Treated on 9/11
Reiki and Relaxation
2010 was an exceptional year for SPARK. The number of special events increased, we provided free ongoing weekly programs for the first time since 2005 when we worked with September Space following 9/11, and we began offering free Reiki workshops to underserved populations.
Energy work, Reiki in particular, is well known for its ability to counter anxiety and help recipients feel balanced as they face life's challenges. In any neighborhood in New York City people are looking for solutions to stress, fear and pain, and many feel that energy work helps them. Wherever we have set up our tables, we have met those who deeply value our services and want to learn.
As we continue to expand our reach, SPARK is moving from strictly building awareness of energy work and providing basic outreach through one-time sessions, to providing the tools and access to experts that allow local communities to preserve energy work's benefits. We are seeing that energy work not only empowers individuals by providing a means and methodology for self-care, but it also can change a care receiver into a care giver.
There is still a lot of work ahead of us, and SPARK is incredibly fortunate to have a group of selfless and caring volunteers who have no fear of extending a compassionate hand (or two!) to whoever attends our events and programs. To those of you who want to help, we welcome and look forward to your participation. To those of you who have supported us, thank you for all that you have allowed us to accomplish.
November, 2010 marked the one-year anniversary of SPARK's free weekly Reiki program in Manhattan's Chinatown. Held at the Greater Chinatown Community Association (GCCA) and targeting residents of the Chinatown community, the program has been a very successful collaboration.
Sessions are held in a converted kitchen in what used to be a convent, by a dedicated group of SPARK volunteer practitioners who have donated their time every week through rain, summer heat, and snow to make the program happen. The GCCA and its wonderful staff have made the practitioners feel welcome, and continue to help with scheduling and translation.
Beginning February 3 and continuing through April 7, SPARK will be offering a free ten-week Reiki for Beginners (Level I) workshop for women at Mercy Center in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx. The workshop will be held every Thursday from 2:00pm to 3:00pm in English and Spanish.
Mercy Center’s mission is to empower women and their families in the South Bronx to liberate themselves from economic poverty.
SPARK experienced a very busy spring and summer this year. The free weekly Reiki program for the Chinatown community continues every Wednesday, and SPARK held twelve energy work events and four Reiki workshops from April through August.
For the first time, SPARK volunteers offered Reiki in the Bronx at Lincoln Hospital's Family Day, and at Argus Community to an HIV support group. Other firsts included providing energy work sessions outdoors at three different Chinatown health fairs.
SPARK's annual SPARK in the Park event was held on Saturday, September 11 in Columbus Park in Manhattan's Chinatown. SPARK's volunteer practitioners provided over 140 free Reiki sessions to the Chinatown community. Sixteen volunteer practitioners worked for five hours, and when the event was supposed to end, twenty people were still waiting and the line was growing.
Recipients were primarily from the local community and were then referred to SPARK's ongoing weekly Chinatown program. Also receiving sessions were tourists visiting Chinatown from countries that included England, France, Germany, Spain and even Australia.
As part of SPARK's mission to increase awareness of energy work SPARK now provides Intro-to-Reiki workshops, which aim to demystify Reiki and allow attendees to see and experience the benefits of Reiki first hand.
SPARK has presented to college students, social workers, law enforcement, and the general public. Pictured is a November 18 presentation to Grand St. Settlement's staff on the Lower East Side.