Bunny Blessings was born in 2019 as a unique ministry to share love and serve other people. After listening to a Sunday morning sermon on Jesus’s commandment to love one another, Phillip and Brittany Bryson began discussing and praying about how they could do more to serve and love others. The Bryson family had for several years enjoyed their pet bunny named Oscar and loved watching friends and family as they realized how friendly and fun he was. The idea to start a bunny therapy ministry was born!
Brittany and Phillip began researching the idea and God started opening many doors. Brittany began to adopt rescue rabbits, improve their health and socialize them. The first rabbits lived in the Bryson’s home and, as they adopted more rabbits, they began adding bunny homes in their garage as well. Around this time, Rita Davis and Dianne Anthony retired from their careers and God was clearly paving the way for these ladies to join together in ministry. In August 2019, the first Bunny Blessings visit took place at Carillon Assisted Living in Cramerton, NC. As other nursing homes and assisted living facilities heard about the program, they asked Bunny Blessings to visit them as well.
Over the next several months the popularity of the ministry grew rapidly with visits throughout the greater Charlotte area and even an invite to the NC Governor’s Mansion! As people learned of the ministry they also wanted to come visit the bunnies themselves. While excited about the growing interest for therapy visits, the Brysons also recognized that their home and garage was not ideal for adding more bunnies, volunteers and onsite activities. As spring of 2020 arrived, so did Covid and the ministry changed directions.
The ability to go out into nursing homes, assisted living facilities, homeless shelters, schools, etc was eliminated as the Covid pandemic shut down these opportunities. Bunny Blessings was determined to continue to share joy with the community so they offered outside visits as allowed, participated in outdoor parades at facilities and created their own outdoor Easter trail that the community could visit.
God opened another door in summer 2020 as the Bryson family moved to a five-acre property in Belmont, NC. The new location presented the incredible option of building a barn to better meet their ministry’s needs. Through the vision and guidance of builder Allen Poteat, the Bunny Barn was completed in fall of 2020 and the bunnies happily moved into their new home.
Since that time over 1,500 visitors have been welcomed into the Bunny Barn. We have blessed scout troops, church youth groups, college ministries, families with special needs and many more. Hospice counselors have found that children are much more comfortable talking and healing in the Bunny Barn. We enjoy sharing with everyone that if God can use bunnies to share His love, He can use any unique gift or talent for ministering to others.
Bunny Blessings now is back out in the community several times a week sharing our ministry with others as well as offering onsite visits at the Bunny Barn. We have about 50 volunteers that provide bunny care 2-3 times a day as well as serving the community with our visits. We are so thankful for how God is using and growing this ministry and can’t wait to see what He has in store for Bunny Blessings in the coming years!