Clients and volunteers gather at The Women's Room, where Sarah Emery Bunn donates massages.
When I heard about Sarah Emery Bunn, I immediately wanted to post about her. She and I have been trying to coordinate our schedules for a while, and I'm glad we got this one in under the (daily blogging) wire.
When Sarah's job at Caltech was downsized and she had some time on her hands, she decided to study massage therapy. With her certificate in hand but no pressing need to make money (her husband's a Caltech physicist), she embarked on a mission to give massages to those who need them most, especially those who can't afford them.
Sarah won't take just any client. At BlissMission, you have to be in great need or at risk. Sarah has given free massages for Union Station (at the old YMCA building across from City Hall), the Pasadena City College Veterans Group, senior citizens and, pictured here, The Women's Room.
I looked all over Sarah's website for a place to donate money. Maybe you can find it, but I don't think it's there. I guess if Sarah were paid, massage wouldn't be the donation she wants it to be. Maybe it wouldn't even be a mission.
At the Women's Room, director Jackie Knowles told me donations of shampoo, creme rinse and body wash tend to show up regularly, but what the clients really need is underwear. Next time I pick up a package of panties at Target, I'll grab an extra package for the Women's Room. Here are some other ways to help.
Homeless and at-risk women gather at the Women's Room to do laundry, grab a shower, and check the latest job listings. They also certainly come to enjoy the camaraderie of the group. If that weren't enough of a draw, once a month there's Sarah Emery Bunn. I went with her yesterday and watched her work. The sense I got was not that she felt she was doing any favors. More, it seemed she was serving her clients. And, like her clients, that blisses her out. Bliss, after all, is her mission.