By OSD Communications Specialist Bailey Patton Brackin

It started with a few posts on social media. Derek Cochran, the General Manager of a Massage Envy in Gilbert, AZ, had taken notice of the work that his longtime friend, Tasha Stonehouse, was doing with OSD. Tasha is an OSD Chapter Leader in Phoenix and regularly shares updates about ways that OSD is serving the military community in Arizona and around the world. Derek wanted to help and he thought there might be a really cool way to involve Massage Envy customers.

Massage Envy is a nationwide wellness franchise providing massage and other skin care services. Customers purchase monthly massage memberships that they use throughout the year. Between busy schedules, travel, and unforeseen circumstances some clients aren’t able to use their message credits every month. Typically those unused credits wind up going to waste, but Derek saw a way to put them to good use.

Together, Derek and his team created a program where Massage Envy customers can “donate” message credits to OSD. They simply let the Massage Envy staff know, and their message credits are transferred to an OSD account. Then, Tasha and the OSD Phoenix team help coordinate dispersing credits to active duty service members, veterans, and their families.

So far, the response has been really great. Tasha explained, “We’ve had a great turn out of people donating massages, one woman even donated around 80 massages to the account. Right now, we have roughly 300 massage credits under our account name and we hope it continues to grow! We have been able to share with more than 100 recipients in 8 different states so far in this program.”

While the Gilbert, AZ Massage Envy is the only location that is actively accepting message “donations” on behalf of OSD, Tasha would eventually love to see the program expand to more locations. The benefits to service members and their families are huge. Tasha explained, “An hour of pure relaxation is well deserved for members and their families. I think this gives them the chance to turn their minds off for an hour, get some work done on their bodies, and relax. The people we have given these to are extremely grateful. Most of them come back letting me know that it’s just what they needed and couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to have a massage from a professional.”