Bliss Bryan, executive director of Mt. Shasta Community Resource Center since 2006, knows how to create a safe place for community members to come and find resources they need for creating healthy family units. “Bliss is a very committed and dedicated individual,” says Mike Rodriguez, chairperson of the resource center board and administrator for the recreation and parks districts of Mt. Shasta, Weed and Dunsmuir. “She goes well beyond the call of duty to provide services for our community.”
The center was originally formed to address the needs of children from ages birth to 5 years and their families. While that is still the core of the program, as the needs of the community have changed, so has the scope of services offered. The center now also serves a growing senior population. “People come here to discover resources available to them,” states Bliss, and also for the social contact, educational programs, and parent-child interaction programs.”
Bliss moved to Mt. Shasta in 2005 from Sacramento. “I came for love,” she reveals. That love is her husband Rod Bryan of Mt. Shasta. They have been together for ten years and married for three. They have a 2-year-old son who Bliss says is the light of her life. “I am so fortunate,” she says. “My job has helped me to be a better parent because of the resources that I am aware of, and the contacts I’ve had with experts in the field of child development and family life.”
Bliss believes in the concept of “be the change” … she even wears a piece of jewelry with that statement on it. When she was in her 30s, she began to focus on what she really enjoyed doing. Her passion for being of service to others kept revealing itself, and she knew it was to be her life path.
After Hurricane Katrina, Bliss served in New Orleans with the Red Cross. She worked as a volunteer in one of the shelters. “It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done,” she says. “There was such a loss of hope. In every sense, people had nothing to hold on to. I heard lots of stories, and they weren’t good ones.”
As well as traveling to volunteer, Bliss has given her time in Sacramento and other North State locations to Special Olympics, to a library program tutoring non-English speakers, and to a hospice program. Regarding the latter, she says, “I felt honored to be with people at the end of their lives and while they made their transition.”
When not working or volunteering, Bliss, Rod and their son love spending time with family and friends. They enjoy doing outdoor activities and believe it adds balance to their lives.
Travel has also brought Bliss much pleasure, and she hopes to show her son the world one day. As a college student, she lived for six months in Kyrgyzstan; from there she traveled to Turkey. Other visits included Mexico, Canada and Norway.
Bliss lives with gratitude for the life she has. “It is a very good life,” she says. What she is seeking now is how to maintain balance. Like many working moms, she says that she has little time for herself. She knows that self-care renews her and gives her a different kind of energy for her family. “It’s just hard to find the time,” she admits.
Her core value of being authentic and genuine is the basis for living her life tenet, “Truth is Power.” “Some things just aren’t worth it if you are not operating from a foundation of truth,” she says. “There are limits to what we can do ourselves, and what others can do, without truth.”
Karen Pautz, executive director of First 5 Siskiyou Children and Families Commission, and Bliss’s friend, says, “I have never known a more dedicated, ethical, kind, loyal and trustworthy woman. She is a gift to my family, our community, and to me. She makes a difference.”
To Bliss that difference means making connections with families in the community. “We plant the seed,” she says. “We may never know what happens once the seed is planted and must be content with that.”
To contact Bliss Bryan and the Mt. Shasta Resource Center, call: (530) 926-1400.
[sws_blue_box box_size=”590″]The mission of our Be the Change column is to feature a community member from the North State who is actively making a difference in the lives of children and families. If you would like to nominate someone who is making a difference, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. [/sws_blue_box]