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Friday, April 26, 2013

Sarah Emery Bunn at The Womens Room

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.

25 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Sarah must of seen this post... She mentions her gmail acct. for donations.. Another selfless soul!.. Kudos to her. Besides bliss, she's educating... :-)

Bellis said...

So glad you got the Women's Room visit in under the radar. Isn't it an amazing place? Many of these homeless women may feel unloved and worthless, and it must be so comforting to be massaged by Sarah. Many live in their cars, and the Women's Room helps them find low-rent accommodation and advocates on their behalf.

Petrea Burchard said...

KBF, I doubt she saw it before you. I must have missed it. Where did you see it? I'll amend the post.

Bellis, it's a great place and the people made me feel at home.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

It was at the end of her post..

Petrea Burchard said...

The gmail link on the BlissMission site is for contacting Sarah to request a massage donation.

altadenahiker said...

I LOVE this. Sarah Emery Bunn is now on my short list of heroes.

LOLfromPasa said...

My heart sings when I hear about people like Sarah. Thanks, Petrea.

Petrea Burchard said...

Talking to Sarah was inspiring, Karin. She doesn't do this every day. She does a little bit of something she's good at. By her example I see what we all can do.

Lauren, people like Sarah are one of the joys of blogging.

Clifford Beshers said...

"With her certificate in hand but no pressing need"

Thought you could just sneak that by us, didn't you? Or perhaps JS did a little late-night editing?

Clifford Beshers said...

OMG! "time on her hands". Are you bucking for a job at The Onion?

Laura Monteros said...

What a wonderful thing to do for others.

Petrea Burchard said...

Sorry if this isn't my best, Cliff, I guess I was too tired to look beyond the cliches.

I agree, Laura.

Clifford Beshers said...

Quite the contrary, Petrea! That's the voice of writing teachers in your head. These are puns deliciously disguised to elude the casual observer. I give you full marks.

Katie said...

What an amazingly inspiring post! It's sad that we need places like the Women's Room, but it's great to know it exists (and thanks for the info about how to help). I very much applaud Sarah's mission of taking her skills to very deserving people.

Christina said...

You are writing about one of my favorite people! Sarah's steady, gracious generosity is but one of her many gifts.

What a nice, write-up, Petrea.

Petrea Burchard said...

Cliff, you give me too much credit. No pun was intended, literally.

Katie, Sarah helps us see that we can all contribute something, and it might be something unique.

Christina, I should have known you knew her! "Steady" and "gracious" are good words for the woman I met yesterday.

Clifford Beshers said...

They are brilliant, all the same.

Petrea Burchard said...

I guess I'm a natural, Cliff!

Shell Sherree said...

How beautiful.

Ms M said...

What a wonderful gift Sarah is giving!

Adele said...

This warms my heart. What an incredible person. Thank you for sharing, Petrea.

savannah said...

what a wonderful post! i'm sending a link to it to my girls in l.a. to share with their friends. much love, sister! xoxo

Susan Campisi said...

I love learning about good souls like Sarah. Thanks for writing about her bliss mission.

Petrea Burchard said...

She shows us what we can all do, right? What's an hour or two a month?

Susan Campisi said...

Yes, exactly.