Last year Bloom brought a lot of support with them to 100MARIN and we are all back this year! We were so touched by the generosity of the members and the community we are here to stay as permanent members.
A few weeks after our overwhelming win, the Northbay Firestorm took us all by surprise. Because of the resources provided by all of you, Bloom was able to respond immediately by bringing needed boxes of new undergarments, hygiene kits, clothing and even pajamas to the Marin shelter, initiated by Marin’s Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership. We mobilized our team of over 100 volunteers, and many others, to pack and transport boxes not only in Marin, but various other shelters in Napa and Sonoma. While this required us to deplete our inventory greatly, it was an easy decision to do so because we knew that funds from 100MARIN were there to replenish supplies for our regular clients.
The most heartwarming moments during this time, and there were many, was the caravan of cars lined up, 22 long and wrapped around the block that arrived to Bloom within hours of our social media call for help. Our donors and volunteers happily shifted their priorities to ensure fire victims would have their immediate needs met, and 100MARIN fueled our ability to orchestrate such an effort.
The word spread that Bloom was helping and many individuals called us directly and we were able to help get them back to work. Many victims were the working poor, living paycheck to paycheck, and needed work clothes immediately. Sharon, for example, lost every belonging in the fire, but couldn’t afford or risk missing her job of serving samples at a local store. She came to Bloom and not only received the reassurance she desperately needed, but plenty of black pants, white blouses, and comfortable shoes for her job. Sharon and other fire victims have since reported that jobs were kept, they’re making positive progress, and that Bloom was the pivotal reason they were able to move forward.
We have many more accomplishments and works in progress to report, and I’m so delighted to now introduce Barrie to tell you all about them.
Bloom is currently working on a partnership with Wells Fargo to provide interview skills workshops and financial literacy training to Bloom’s clients as well as several new community partners such as: Launch, College of Marin’s EOPS Program, and the CalWORKs program. Bloom is so excited about this new program these partnerships. We will launch the workshops soon and be able to dress all of the participants. Without the 100MARIN funds we would not be able to afford dressing the participants in the clothing they so vitally need to obtain and sustain employment.
A portion of the funds from 100MARIN were used to add a second dressing room in Bloom’s women’s boutique, which has increased the capacity that we are able to take on client wise. We will be able to dress two women at a time especially when we hold group workshops.
We were able to collaborate with several local organizations on a Mother’s day Project that truly touched all the staff. We were able to take care packages of jewelry, makeup, hygiene kits, and clothing into women’s shelters for mother’s day. Being able to make the day special for the women who are struggling with homelessness was a priceless experience for all of us.
Because of 100MARIN Bloom was able to help your coworkers, neighbors, friends and those right here in Marin County that need a hand up and we truly thank all of you for that gift.