Jim Oerther 2014BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — Jim Oerther (pictured), winner of the Massage Warehouse/MASSAGE Magazine Ultimate Business Starter Package prize, will begin offering massage therapy as a volunteer to San Francisco’s homeless population at 2 p.m. on Sundays during the San Francisco Night Ministry’s Open Cathedral at Leavenworth and McAllister Streets, beginning Oct. 19, 2014.

“By using his massage expertise and helping the underprivileged experience its many benefits, Jim exemplifies the best that the profession can offer,” said Kray Kibler, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Massage Warehouse.

Inspired by the Care Through Touch Institute, Oerther, who is working on a Ph.D. in psychology and has a background in theology, will be using his hands-on skills and knowledge of the health care and social issues associated with homelessness to provide compassionate support.

“Jim shares our mission to touch the lives of homeless people by offering them compassionate seated massage therapy and a caring presence,” said Mary Ann Finch, founder and director of the Care Through Touch Institute.

The Care Through Touch Institute, an educational and community service program, offers 180-hour certified training programs that emphasize not only the skills appropriate for addressing the complex health conditions endemic to homeless people, but also the social issues that impact their lives on a daily basis.

The Open Cathedral program is a brief, non-denominational service held on the streets in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco every Sunday. In addition to the service, the Night Ministry provides a free lunch and the opportunity for prayer and counseling following the service. The Night Ministry provides services every night of the year from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“I’m grateful to Massage Warehouse for giving me an opportunity to continue serving San Francisco’s homeless,” Oerther said. “It’s important for this population to interact and experience the health benefits of massage and emotional support that comes with it. I’ve met many amazing homeless people. They teach me so much.”

The Rev. Lyle Beckman, director of San Francisco Night Ministry, added, “Jim is one of those special people who wants to work with the homeless, many of whom have experienced psychological and physical trauma. His healing touch will be a welcome addition to the Open Cathedral program and [will be] much appreciated by the people we serve.”

About Massage Warehouse

Massage Warehouse, member of the Scrip Companies family, provides equipment and supplies to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals and offers massage equipment and supplies to massage therapists, franchises and schools, supporting the collective growth of therapeutic massage and the individual healing efforts of each massage therapist. Massage Warehouse serves as a resource for products, education and advocacy. Visit www.massagewarehouse.com.