September 1, 2010; Source: New York Daily News | If you’re a stressed out nonprofit manager who has been working overtime to stretch, pull, and even out the bumps in your operations during these tumultuous times, do you ever dream of taking time off just to relax, or maybe for a massage? That was no dream for a group of leaders of several cultural institutions in New York City’s Queens borough who were invited this week to a special stress reducing workshop held at the the Poppenhusen Institute, an educational and cultural center.
The program included yoga, Reiki spiritual sessions, and, yes, massages. For one participant, Debby Silverfine, director of the Volker Orth Museum, this was her only break from working 12 days straight—including the afternoon of the workshop. Silverfine said the Reiki and a massage “helped me walk a lot better and it helped my arm feel a lot better because I was carrying a lot of supplies to the office.”
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Because attendees all share what the New York Daily News describes as a struggle “to keep programs running amid the awful economic climate,” the paper said the sessions also provided balm in the form of an opportunity to commiserate with nonprofit peers who face the same challenges these days. As Susan Brustman of the Poppenhusen Insitute, which hosted the workshop said, “If I was under stress, I knew very well that other nonprofits were under stress.”
Lynda Herndon of the Queens Symphony Orchestra concurred: “Working for a nonprofit, you always have too little staff, too little money. You really don’t take the time to pamper yourself. You’re always running, running, running.”—Bruce Trachtenberg