Next Children’s Program Training to be held September 12-14!

Our next Children’s Program training for this year is scheduled for September 12-14, 2014. Massage for Pediatric Patients prepares volunteers to provide massage and caring touch to babies and children at our partner hospitals and hospice.

The training examines the unique challenges and opportunities that come with working with children in a hospital or hospice setting. Because children are at various levels of development, participants will explore what this means for the massage therapist. In addition, the training provides an introduction to the essentials for working in a medical environment and to the types of equipment that volunteers may encounter. Additional considerations include issues of pain, volunteer boundaries, and dealing with terminal illnesses.

On Sunday morning participants will meet at a local children’s hospital to tour their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Rehabilitation Services Department.

For more information or to register, please contact the Heart Touch Office at 310-391-2558 extension 105 or by email at

My Hands Have Become the Language of My Heart.

Charna’s Story

When my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he viewed it as a Call to War. With single minded determination and his unwavering sense of humor, he was certain he could he could beat the disease. His strategy was to be blasted by as many chemical combinations of chemotherapy as his oncologist could create. He cheerfully reported that things were fine at home (they weren’t; they were brutal, and gruesome, and frightening); nevertheless, week after week, he valiantly requested “More! Hit me with as much as you’ve got; let’s get rid of this thing!”

I watched in agony as he suffered. I learned take care of him in ways I could never have imagined, but I felt helpless as I watched him, once fabulously healthy, disappear into a fragile ghost of a man. By the time we reached the ninth month, his body began to show us, it was time to stop the chemotherapy. It was exactly at that time that my yoga instructor invited me to talk to her about hospice; she is a volunteer. My uneducated view of hospice was people who crowd around a dying person and take care of the details. I didn’t have a clue. But her kind eyes and gentle demeanor awakened something in me; I made the call.

When hospice stepped in, a new reality was explained to us in beautiful simplicity; it resonated truth, bathed in kindness: When there is no cure, there is comfort. I’d never heard of palliative care nor was I prepared for the Specialty Service of Heart Touch that my husband was offered.

Christine, our Heart Touch volunteer explained that Heart Touch a laying of hands on critically ill or medically fragile patients. After my husband’s his first session, I could see that his spirit had been lifted! For that hour, there was a different kind of comfort: he remembered how to relax. And in hindsight, I will say that perhaps it was practice … for the art of letting go. For both of us.

A few years have passed now. Those experiences changed the course of my life. I’ve set myself on a journey of becoming a Certified Senior Advisor and Patient Advocate. And I’ve honored my husband by completing my own Heart Touch training last year.

I have learned the art of “just being” at the bedside. When there is no more sight, and no more speech, there is still touch. My hands have become the language of my heart. I found myself with a calling now, to serve, to volunteer, to help patients and their families find comfort and understanding, and peace. I am forever grateful to Heart Touch for this gentle and meaningful training.

Congratulations to Our July 2014 Heart Touch Training Graduates!

Heart Touch Technique Training October 17 – October 19, 2014

The next Heart Touch Technique Training is scheduled for October 17th – October 19th.

The Heart Touch Technique Training empowers participants to use their gift of touch in the most powerful way possible: to help alleviate the pain and isolation of the most ill individuals in our community.

If you would like to share and nurture your gift of touch, please join us at the next Heart Touch Training. Volunteering is optional and not a requirement to take the training. Upon completion of the training, participants can choose to be assigned to one our partner hospices. Volunteer opportunities are available in the Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County.

The training fee is $350. Financial assistance is available. Twenty continuing education hours available for massage therapists, registered nurses and chaplains.

For more information or to register, please contact the Heart Touch Office at 310-391-2558 extension 105 or by email at

The Heart Touch Project is Good Housekeeping Magazine’s February 2014 SEAL STAR!

Check out the February 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine. The Heart Touch Project was recognized with the SEAL STAR by Good Housekeeping Magazine for almost twenty years of providing therapeutic touch to Southern California’s must vulnerable populations!

The William Zeltonoga Award for Humanitarian Service

On December 7, 2013, The Heart Touch Project was proud to honor Patrick Callahan with the William Zeltonoga Award for Humanitarian Service. Actress and Heart Touch Spokesperson, Rene Russo, was on hand to present the award.

The William Zeltonoga Award was created to remember our dear friend and Board Member, William Zeltonoga. We miss you, Z.

Congratulations to our December 2013 Children’s Program Graduates!

We Hope We See You There!

The Heart Touch Project is proud to announce the inaugural William Zeltonoga Award for Humanitarian Services. Please join us on December 7, 2013, as we present the award to Patrick Callahan for his extraordinary service to the Heart Touch Project.


For more information please contact Ava Alexandar at or call 310-391-2558 ext. 105.