Integrative Touch for Kids (ITK) is an amazing, visionary non-profit. I first learned about their work about two years ago. Their Hospital Heroes Program at Banner Children’s Medical Center stands out. It offers integrative therapy modalities like massage, Healing Touch, play therapy, and acupressure for hospitalized children and their families free of charge. As young child I went through many traumatic medical experiences, so right away I wanted to help support this wonderful program. ITK’s Hospital Heroes therapists make a big difference. They help calm fearful kids and reduce the pain and worry that can come with stressful hospital stays or chemotherapy. The results are so remarkable that the Hospital Heroes Program is leading the way for other children’s hospitals to do the same. To this end, ITK is presenting its program research at several national conferences this year. Today I now serve as a volunteer grant writer for ITK. I’ve met so many inspiring people and heard many deeply moving stories. I’m grateful and honored to help support ITK’s important work. They are a true treasure in our Tucson community!
ITK is an innovative and holistic way to help children with special medical needs AND their entire families to heal and thrive. Documentation shows that ITK changes lives. As a board member, volunteer, and practitioner, I have seen and felt the impact of this organization for myself, for volunteers, and for children and families. ITK provides in-hospital care, community education and outpatient retreats at NO cost to families. I believe this is a model that can change lives and change the world.
I have seen ITK change lives. This organization sees not only a person as a whole being - mind, body, and spirit - but also supports families and community as a whole. As a volunteer for ITK, I have seen families and volunteers open up and blossom, to feel heard and understood, and embraced. ITK supports children and families with special medical needs and has created a community, a family, of love and hope and all who are touched by this organization are transformed. In addition to supporting families who often feel isolated, ITK provides experience for young volunteers to make a difference in lives, which makes a difference in the future of our world. ITK started with its pilot program of weeklong Healing Retreats which offered healing therapies such as massage, Reiki, healing touch, music therapy, play therapy, equine therapy, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, to children and families at no cost to the family. This model was proven to positively change not only families but how the community viewed families with children with autism, cancer, genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, and other conditions. ITK is now working in hospital to support children and families when they are inpatient. Additionally ITK has provided support groups, inclusive Playdates in the Park and in hospital, wellness education and ultimately, the way health care is viewed.
As a pediatrician who works with hospitalized children, I can speak first-hand to the impact that the practitioners in Integrative Touch for Kids have on the children and families with whom I work. I have seen children with less pain and parents smile for the first time in days after just one session with the Hospital Heroes. They are often able to reach and connect with patients and their families in a way that I can't and support them so beautifully on their illness journey. I am so proud to know them.
I continue to be amazed by the work ITK is doing. I have worked for them for two years, and have seen the way they transform lives through healing. My area of research and work is in holistic healing, and the understanding that healing is different from curing. It is stronger and longer lasting. ITK has understood the healing process completely! Moreover, ITK brings these therapies to families who are economically disadvantaged and underserved, giving them access to these much-needed healing techniques, when they otherwise would never have them. It is moving healthcare in a direction that is more holistic and personalized. To me, it is the future.
I am simply blown away by the work of Integrative Touch for Kids (ITK). I have seen their work first-hand in the hospital. I have seen children who were in pain be soothed. I have seen parents who were distressed and anxious for their children be given care and strategies for handling their stress and supporting their child. I have seen transformations in a single 20, 30 or one hour session. Truly, this organization has the power to transform the way we care for and handle children with special medical needs-- to create the best outcomes for all.
Oursranding organization. Excelence in care for special need kids and their families. A team of compassionate practitioners and volunteers making what seems difficult and impossible to a heart warm experience. A vision and mission very clear to its core.
My experience with ITK starts from the very beginning. I’ve been volunteering for the past 10 years. It’s coutless the life changing moments I’ve witnessed throughout the years . ITK serves also as a bridge that connects families that are isolated from society just because they are caring for a child with special needs. The organization provides a g is their Motto. The new hospital heroes program has grown exponentially due to the level of healing broght to hospital settings. All I can say is that this organization provides healingvariety of healing modalities to a child in need , as well as to the entire Family. Healing and empowerin, inclusion, empowerment and love above all.
ITK changed our lives. We received support and understanding for raising a child with special needs. We felt more peace and healing and a community of support.
Itk changed our lives! We felt alone and overwhelmed until we were invited to participate in a Healing Retreat. That week changed our lives and got us much needed help and bonds with other families that would last a lifetime. Having a child/children with special needs affects the WHOLE family and having a community there to support the whole family and provide therapies to help deal with your everyday challenges has been a godsend!! If you are a family with a special needs child I highly recommend looking into ITK and all the wonderful benefits it offers unique families like ours!!
ITK and its unique vision makes this is a very special non-profit with an integrative approach to healing and support for special needs children and their families, Having both been a volunteer and honored to be a hosted family at what was a game changing retreat, I have witnessed first hand the wonderful work that ITK does.
Shay and her fine staff and all of the volunteers continue to make ITK a very special non-profit of the highest order. Onward and upward ITK! Bravo!
We where a participating family at the very first healing retreat. It was an amazing magical experience that helped bring our family closer together. After the 1st year as a receiving family we have continued to volunteer with the program on many different levels. We have had the honor of watching ITK blossom and grow over the years.
ITK is an incredible organization that supports families with unique kids. We attended a retreat and it was life changing! Not only did we get support, but I left with a family of people that understood our challenges even though theirs were different. We later ended up receiving services through the hospital heroes program. Being in the hospital is really difficult with stays sometimes over two weeks long. My son and I would always look forward to ITK visits to take away some anxiety and make our stay a little less stressful. All of the people involved with ITK are incredibly beautiful souls and we are so honored to be a part of this amazing organization!
ITK is truly amazing nonprofit organization that offers help to children and families of Tucson that face and endure special medical needs. They offer a unique approach in that they support both the children and the families affected by catastrophic and chronic diseases and illnesses. I am very blessed to be associated with such wonderful group of caring and selfless people.
heart centered, caring organization that brings light and hope into the lives of families with children dealing with a variety of medical issues. The children get healing touch and friendship, the families get a sense of calm and even the doctors and nurses in hospital get a massage or therapeutical healing to ease their day of dealing with trauma. What a gift to everyone involved.
We were fortunate to have been selected as one of the special needs family for the ITK healing retreat . It changed our lives forever. We have never felt such kindness and support from a group of volunteers.
Their hearts were filled with love and compassion as we worked through some very difficult emotions. The volunteers always went above and beyond to cater to our every need.
Prior to the retreat, my husband and myself struggled in our married and stressed over our daughters condition and what it meant for our family. We learned how to love each other again and cherish every moment with our children. We are better parents because of ITK.
ITK brought together wonderful people who we have grown to love and our friendships will last forever. We now know we're not the only ones going through this and so blessed to have this extended ITK family. We love them dearly!!!!
Integrative Touch for Kids is a unique non-profit organization. It is the only entity in Arizona (and, possibly, the country) that provides a wide range of healing touch therapies for children with a disability or a chronic disease. Its Hospital Heroes Program delivers these services to children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units and to children in hospital for the treatment of cancer and other life threatening diseases. Additionally, ITK has held week long and weekend retreats for children and their families. The response from families, caregivers, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel is overwhelmingly positive. Children are able to reduce stress in preparation for medical procedures and parents also receive the same benefits. Doctors are fully supportive of ITK because they see the positive impact these services have on their patients and family members
ITK came into our lives at a time when we needed it most. We took part in one of their first retreats and, as a result, have made wonderful connections and lifelong friends. The experience has changed our lives and shown us the depth of caring and compassion of our community. Truly, love in action.
ITK has played a vital role in my families life for 5 years. We started out as a family participant at a week long retreat. Since the retreat we have moved to a volunteer role as much as we are able to. ITK has changed us in ways I can't even explain. I have 5 kiddos with multiple diagnosises. I was amazed at how much the grew in that week at the retreat. Less emotional melt downs, more communication and overall being able to handle situations better. We call it the ITK bubble of love and acceptance. Whenever we are with the ITK family we don't have to worry about judgement or stares or being told what we are doing is wrong. We have support, acceptance and are surrounded by people who want to help.
ITK was life changing for our family. The love, support, friendship, knowledge and sense of community we gained are incredible. As a family who received, everyone gained a lot. My child with special needs gained treatments she had never experienced, which helped her speech explode; my child withough special needs gained friendships and understanding she is not alone in this; my husband and I connected with others who understood our life.... we all took away great value that we are still today applying to our lives. We first came across ITK about 4 years ago. We still attend functions and highly value our connections we made years ago. ITK is unique and special. It teaches about integrative and holistic approaches, like massage, reiki, bars, aromatherapy, horse therapy etc that were unknown before. The moms from our group talk regularly, and support one another. It's a like minded group who "gets it", understands what it's like to be raising a child with unique and special needs. We share resources, struggles and triumphs. I honestly can't say enough how great and needed integrative touch for kids was for my family. Thank you Integrative Touch for Kids.
ITK has been a special part of our lives. The summer retreat brought our entire family together and for the first time we were taken care of. I have a child with autism, a younger one who was in the NICU for 3 months and my parents are helping me raise both children. The family retreat was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to be restored, refreshed and renewed. I treasure our time with ITK and the wonderful staff, volunteers and friends that are a part of the organization.
I am a long time volunteer for ITK. ITK is totally unique in its approach to and what it provides to families with children with special needs and life changing health issues. A myriad of services from hands on support, emotional, psychological and various therapeutic offerings are available to families that can't be found in other places. ITK offers ongoing support... again unique in that what is provided is not just a one time event. The families who have benefited from these special services have stayed connected over years.....a value that is priceless and unusual. I wish that ITK could provide what they do to more families and am hopeful that one day soon that will be the case.
ITK is a wonderful non-profit organization helping children (and their families)of all ages with severe medical challenges. Giving them the opportunity, comfort and support through many stages of their illness and care. Allowing many opportunities to do things that on a normal day they would not be able to do.
I have donated 9 years of my time working with this wonderful organization.
I would love to see as many people get involved to help these children and their families to continue to have as much of a normal life as possible.