A new nonprofit collective is seeking to share wellness services with people who may not be able to access them, including first responders, nonprofit employees and people in addiction recovery.
The Wellness Collective, founded by Crystal Bunch and Breann Davis, launched this month to offer free services like yoga and massage therapy to underserved communities in the area.
“We started the Wellness Collective because we saw a need in the community for affordable and accessible wellness services,” Bunch said. “We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to improve their health and well-being, regardless of their income or background.”
Currently, the collective is working with Utah Recovery Support Services to provide evening yoga; there will be another yoga class specifically for first responders on June 14. Bunch noted that the group is excited not only to work with clients but also with staff at local nonprofits.
“There are so many nonprofits in town doing amazing things, but it’s really hard work and people can’t always pay for these kinds of services,” she said. “We know that yoga and wellness can have a positive impact on people’s lives, and we want to make sure that everyone has access to them.”
Bunch said that she felt passionate about the project, since she had times in her own life where she needed support but didn’t have the finances or the access to receive it.
“Since then, I’ve had an obsession with healing myself that I can now bring to the community,” she said. Many wellness providers have similar feelings, Bunch noted.
That’s part of what led her to start Mindful Movement Moab, her yoga practice. Davis runs Balanced Body Massage and Yoga.
Rather than funding services through a sliding-scale or low-cost model, Bunch said that the collective aims to raise funding through donations and grantwriting to keep services free for participants.
“You come to us and you’re not paying,” Bunch said. “We want you to get the service because you need it, without the expense that you can’t afford.”
Bunch and Davis began talking about collaborating late last year after they realized that many body workers and other wellness professionals already offered free or low-cost services to the community, but didn’t have a place to centralize their offers or a way to be compensated for the work.
“We started by wondering how we could make this be beneficial for everyone and reach a larger group?” said Bunch. “Instead of just a bunch of people running around doing these free things, this gives us a hub and allows us to build partnerships with organizations and nonprofits.”
While Bunch said that they expected a longer planning phase, the collective was ready to launch as a nonprofit on May 1 of this year. Meagan Coy, owner of MC’s Massage Therapy, joined Bunch and Davis as a facilitator and the group added Tara Beresh and Joanna Onorato as board members.
“We’re really grateful for the support of the community,” Bunch said. “We couldn’t do this without them.”
The Wellness Collective is currently in the process of fundraising and getting ready to hold a grand opening for its offices.
“I personally don’t know of any space that does what we’re what we’re planning to do,” said Bunch. “It’s extremely exciting.”
To learn more about the collective, go to www.wellnesscollectivemoab.com.