The Transforming Ripple of Love: Relationship, Thought, Action

by, Robin Murphey

On October 14, 2017, I spent my day moving together with a group of physical therapists from Baptist Health in Louisville, KY. The Baptist Health family provided a free physical therapy (PT) clinic for Louisville residents. I do not share about the free clinic but how the world can be transformed by one accompanying relationship after another and intentional follow-through on the ‘what if’ thought. Life is not about coincidences but the ripple of love through intentional actions.

Robin and Danielle on PT Day of Service, October 14, 2017

Robin and Danielle on PT Day of Service, October 14, 2017

Transformational journeys start with relationships. Relationships formed when two or more people truly walk with one another and embrace the others passions, abilities, and struggles as their own. There are four key relationships associated with this journey: Danielle and I, Efosa and I, Efosa and Josh, and Louisville Baptist Health PT Family. Danielle, Efosa, and Josh are all physical therapists across the US. Danielle is a part of the Louisville Baptist Health family and my previous PT. Efosa and I met in Guatemala during coinciding service experiences. Efosa and Josh connected through the physical therapy profession.

 

Before the ‘what if’, the above relationships were in continuous formation. Danielle and I met in September 2014 as she cared for my knee and foot pains. We shared our passions for making a difference in the world. Both of us had experiences in Guatemala, and I was headed back to Guatemala in December. The New Year’s 2015 Guatemala Trip coordinated with Hearts in Motion (HIM) also included physical therapy students and professionals. Efosa was working with HIM to setup a sustainable PT clinic in Teculutan, Guatemala and on an 8-month global journey “to treat, to teach, to learn, and to grow.” Efosa’s story inspired me and continues to inspire me to take intentional action on my vision. It also led to sharing his story and website PTHaven.com with Danielle when I returned to the US. Over the next several months and now years, I have remained in contact with both Danielle and Efosa sharing the journeys of life.

Josh and Efosa first encountered one another at an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) conference. A relationship did not form immediately, but Josh seeing something good took intentional action to follow-up with Efosa. The follow-up led to Josh joining Efosa on a trip to Guatemala in 2014 and the formation of an accompanying relationship. The relationship opened the door to ‘what if’ thoughts.

On the Amazon River in Peru in 2015 after Guatemala, Efosa had a ‘what if’ thought and reached out to Josh to see his reaction. He said, “what if, on the same day, clinicians, students, and associated staff of the physical therapy profession volunteered in different communities around the world?” That ‘what if’ led to PT Day of Service (PTDOS) being co-founded by Efosa and Josh and put into action on October 17, 2015. The initial PTDOS brought together individuals and organizations from all 50 states and 28 countries and continues to impact the world today. I continued to share with Danielle about the initiatives and work of Efosa and Josh. In October 2016, Danielle and her colleague, Jessica, gathered their Baptist Health PT family together and provided a free clinic in the Portland area of Louisville for the 2nd Annual PT Day of Service.

This ‘what if’ was only the start of ‘what if’s’ for Efosa and Josh. In 2016, they co-founded Move Together. Move Together is a non-profit organization focused on “increased access to quality rehabilitation medicine around the corner and around the world.” This is accomplished one through international learning experiences. With bidirectional collaboration between the municipality of Villa Nueva, Guatemala and Move Together, the first Clinic Development Project was put into motion to build a sustainable rehab clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala in May 2017. As a construction and therapy trip combined, non-clinicians were invited to join in the bidirectional cultural experience, and I did not hesitate to join.

One objective of the project was to help equip the new clinic with equipment, braces, and other supplies. Therefore, I said ‘what if’ I reach out to Danielle to see if she might have some extra things lying around her office to donate. That ‘what if’ resulted in much more than a simple contact to Danielle. She took the inquiry to another level. She reached out to the Baptist Health PT family to see if anyone else had extra supplies around their offices. Her passion for the mission took one additional step sharing the project with her clients and raffling off for one client to be able to put her through a workout in conjunction with celebrating the office’s first anniversary. She helped expand the Move Together family as well as enhance the community within her own clinic towards a common good. A full army duffle bag of supplies and financial support was collected for the Villa Nueva project. The relationship and community building did not stop there. Upon my return from Guatemala, we shared pictures and thanked Danielle, her clients, and fellow PTs for their support in transforming the world.

Danielle's clinic, Baptist Health PT, helped to equip the brand new physical therapy clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala! 

Danielle's clinic, Baptist Health PT, helped to equip the brand new physical therapy clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala! 

The next phase of the journey brings us to October 14, 2017 and the 3rd annual PT Day of Service. Danielle and the Baptist Health PT family organized a free PT clinic to provide free education and care in Louisville, Kentucky. Being inspired and encouraged to transcend by Efosa and Josh, I reached out again to Danielle to see how I could provide a helping hand and heart to the clinic. As I checked folks in and documented the day, I saw the hope and smiles of the patients and therapists as pain and mobility issues were being addressed and minimized. Love and compassion transcended as new relationships formed and others continued to grow and transform.

It was a blessing to be part of an amazing initiative to bring people together across the globe (representatives from 55 nations and all 50 US states) on one day to share love and compassion to their neighbor. I enjoyed coming home to see what others around the world had been doing via social media. I really loved seeing and hearing what others like Josh, Efosa, and the May Guatemala Move Together family members were doing. All of these relationships offer a river of ripples for making a positive, healthy difference in the world.

Robin and Efosa outside the brand new PT Clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala

Robin and Efosa outside the brand new PT Clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala

The world is being transformed and you can help in the transformation. All it takes is one ‘what if’, one accompanying relationship, belief, and intentional action. It may seem impossible, but it is only impossible because we take no action and we do not believe in the possible. But when we start believing and trusting, the world is full of possibilities. We just have to open our hearts and minds, believe in ourselves, and take a leap of faith and risk. We have to walk with one another, listening to their story, and embracing their future and ours together. In this bidirectional union of love and compassion, the world will be transformed one ripple of love at a time.

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1. Efosa Guobadia, “I Lead by Serving, and I Serve to Lead,” Physical Therapy Haven, November, 29, 2014, http://www.pthaven.com/news_article/show/452034?referrer_id=1047267.

2. Efosa Guobadia, “About PTDOS: PT Day of Service Story,” Global PT Day of Service, accessed September 28, 2017, http://ptdayofservice.com/more-on-ptdos/.

3. “Home,” Move Together, accessed September 28, 2017, https://www.movetogether.org/.  

Post PTDOS Funding Allocation

In the second annual PT Day of Service, the Physical Therapy Community leaned further into the realm of compassion and service, as we saw an increase in hours, participants, and countries as compared to last year!

An added theme this year was to proactively promote a positive and sustainable impact around the world, beyond the day itself. Some did this in the form of setting up sustainable projects that will last for months after PTDOS and others graciously answered our call to donate money to three pre selected initiatives. Every effort, act, and contribution has been so very inspiring.  

Through sponsorships, individual donations, t-shirt sales, and promotions, we were able to raise over $22,000! Funds will be managed by the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Move Together, which we founded in part to make PTDOS a sustainable initiative. Move Together’s mission is to increase access to quality rehab medicine around the corner and around the world. Earlier this year, we notified you of the destinations of where the funds would be put to use. Please see below for review of the different initiatives and fund allocation.
 

Pro Bono Incubator - $10,000
We will direct $10,000 to the Pro Bono Incubator (PBI). The allocation of these funds will allow the PBI to facilitate and support innovative efforts that are geared towards providing quality rehabilitative care for those with limited access to care in the United States. Applications for the program will be released in early 2017 via Move Together’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and website. For further info on the PBI, please contact Ciara Burgi at CiaraBurgi@MoveTogether.org

 

The Quique Ceron Foundation - $5,000
The Quique Ceron Foundation is a sustainable rehab clinic based out of Esquipulas, Guatemala. It is led by Quique Ceron, an inspiring individual who himself had challenges with access and quality care after an injury. Quique was motivated to minimize the barriers to care by creating a rehab clinic that would be able to treat patients from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The $5,000 will go towards a clinic enhancement project. In the effort to improve the clinic’s capacity and capabilities, enhancement will include (but not be limited to): increasing treatment space, improving quality of equipment, improving patient documentation procedures, and supporting personnel. Many of the patients that are seen in this region of Central America lack the ability to receive care due to cost and and lack of options in their region. Quique’s clinic runs year round, turns no one away, and is making a profound impact in that corner of the world.

 

StandUp Kids - $5,000
Movement and posture is fundamental to rehab medicine and what those in physical therapy encounter daily. That is why we believe in and support the non-profit organization StandUp Kids, which strives to get standing desks in the classroom so that students have another front in which to combat inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle. We will donate $4,000 to StandUp Kids and $1,000 will be directly donated to a StandUp Kids project in Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Move Together - $2,000
PT Day of Service (PTDOS) is a program of Move Together, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Allocating specific funding to Move Together enables us to ensure PTDOS is a sustainable initiative that will always have a home. This year’s costs included legal and accounting fees, website, branding, marketing, and the attainment of the 501(c)3 status to enable the safe, effective, and legal granting of funds back to other initiatives and organizations. Diligent steps are taken to minimize costs while maximizing quality of PTDOS. We are so thankful to all team members as they continue to share their passion, heart, and time on a completely volunteer basis. The initiative wouldn’t be what it is without them.


For updates on the above projects, sign up for our email list by utilizing Move Together’s contact form. If you would like to get more involved and dive deeper into service work, please email us directly at efosa@movetogether.org and josh@movetogether.org.

We thank you all so very much! Participants, ambassadors, sponsors, and everyone in between continue to show that compassion is possible and that together we can boldly embark on the journey of making this world a better place. We will see you next year on October 14th for the 3rd annual PT Day of Service!

-Efosa and Josh

A very special thank you to our 2016 platinum and gold Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

2016 Service Highlight: Supporting First Responders and the Military

First responders at the start of the race. 

First responders at the start of the race. 

My name is Thomas Mandala, I am a second year student at the College of Staten Island’s Physical Therapy Program. This past year, as a part of the PT Day of Service, some classmates and I volunteered at the 15th annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk in New York City. This event raises money to help the families of first responders and military members who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

            When I first heard about the PTDOS, I was excited to have an opportunity to give back to our local community on Staten Island but could not decide where to do so. Although it’s true that volunteering in any capacity is always a worthwhile endeavor, I wanted to find something that my classmates and I were truly passionate about. After some research, we soon realized that the Tunnel to Towers was the perfect event for us. The foundation is named after a local hero and Staten Island native, firefighter Stephen Siller.  On 9/11, although off-duty, Stephen attempted to drive to Lower Manhattan through the Battery Tunnel and, upon realizing he was unable to do so, ran 3.5 miles in 60 lbs of gear before making the ultimate sacrifice while helping to save others. Our class is a part of a small and tight-knit program within the small and tight-knit community of Staten Island. While Stephen is one of Staten Island’s most cherished local heroes, there were hundreds more Staten Islanders just like him who gave their lives in the service of others on 9/11. In such a small community, nearly every single person was directly affected by the loss of a friend or loved one on 9/11, so this event means a great deal to the people that make up our campus. Additionally, as someone whose father and two uncles are firefighters that were fortunate enough to survive 9/11, this event has a special significance for me.

College of Staten Island students: Thomas Mandala, Munir Bouzid, and Joseph Guarini (left to right) at the race.

College of Staten Island students: Thomas Mandala, Munir Bouzid, and Joseph Guarini (left to right) at the race.

            I am very proud to have participated in the PTDOS and represented our profession while in the service of others. However, I am even more proud of the event my classmates and I chose to volunteer at and the community where we go to school. I strongly encourage you to volunteer in any capacity you can find during next year’s PTDOS. Moreover, I challenge you to take it one step further and find a cause that you are passionate about, and one that makes a difference in the community where you go to school or work. This event had a profound impact on my life and I know that I will be participating in next year’s PTDOS; I hope that you will join me!

Racers finishing! 

Racers finishing! 

Program of the Day: East Tennessee State University

ETSUlogo.jpg

Written by: Tera Gwaltney, SPT, PTA and Alexis Morgan, SPT

Students, faculty, and staff at East Tennessee State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are pleased to join the Global PT Day of Service movement, especially after seeing what last year’s PTDOS involvement did for the program, school, and community.

Last year, ETSU hosted their 2nd annual Zombie 5k Run (picture below) and first-ever PT Pub Night in the area to raise money and food items for the local food bank; through their efforts, they were able to provide 738 meals for families in their community.

Witnessing Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, DPT/PTA students, and pre-PT students come together to meet a local need, was inspiring and beautiful, and the community of PT’s in East Tennessee are excited for October 15, 2016!

PTDOS 2016 at ETSU is starting off with a “summer social” on Sunday, July 31st, where all 3 classes of students will join together for fun, fellowship and networking. During this time, students will kick off the excitement and brainstorming, while planning community service projects for October 15th.  

Mattie Stepanek once said, “Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” The ETSU DPT family is eagerly planning for an even larger impact to be made this year on October 15th

PTDOS 2016: The Day and Beyond

Efosa and Josh discuss results from 2015 and what is new for the PT Day of Service 2016

 

In 2015, we started a question with two simple words: what if?

Just a few months later, those two words led to the development of an international movement that united our profession in acts of service. On October 17, 2015, we held our first PT Day of Service.

The response of the PT community and the results from last year were astounding. Together, we gathered nearly 4,000 participants from all 50 states in the United States and 28 countries across the globe. Countless new service projects were started on that day, including some that have now become sustainable: a group of students who built a wheelchair ramp for PTDOS last year have found a greater need and regularly build more ramps in their community, providing greater accessibility for all; an aquatics class that started as a one time event had a big turnout and has now became a recurring class for community members. These examples have proven that one small act can set us on a trajectory of positive change, and positive changes across the world can help us transform society.

As we embark on PT Day of Service 2016, our focus is on the day and beyond. We are excited to introduce three new areas of innovation for 2016 that will allow PT Day of Service and all of its participants to effectuate the most positive change:
 

  1. Improved service project coordination. Ambassadors will be asked to start a project on VolunteerSpot, making it easier to recruit participants and coordinate efforts for the day. We have also introduced an Ambassadors Facebook group to facilitate networking and discussion amongst those leading service projects.
     

  2. More resources for sustainable and responsible service. Keep an eye out for our new social media feature, Sustainable Sundays. We also have an entire team dedicated to supporting ambassadors and promoting positive and empowering engagement with each community we touch.
     

  3. Three new pathways for donations and sponsorships that will exponentially increase our impact. All proceeds from PTDOS will be directed towards the below three initiatives, as well as the Non Profit organization Move Together Inc, which will be handling the operations and management of the actions with and dedications to said programs. Each initiative below will be featured in its own blog post in the coming months. Proceeds will:
     

    1.  Improve Communities Locally: our Pro Bono Incubator will help facilitate innovation in underserved areas across the country.
       
    2.  Better Communities Abroad: we are working with the Quique Ceron foundation to enhance the quality and sustainability of services delivered in Quique's clinic in Esquipulas, Guatemala.
       
    3.  Transform Society through Movement: we partnered with StandUp Kids, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to getting standing desks for kids at every elementary school across the country.  
       

We are also incredibly excited to be working with a passionate and talented team of 21 volunteers this year. Their efforts will help make it possible for our profession to reach further and deeper into communities. We thank them for all they are doing to improve the coordination and execution of the day.

PT Day of Service represents the best of who we are as a profession and demonstrates the impact we can have when we unite in common effort.

Join us today by pledging as a participant, ambassador, and/or sponsor. Let's show the world that compassion can be manifested into action as we come together to create positive ripples across the world.

-Efosa and Josh