Season for Sharing promotes healthy relationships in at-risk youth
Bloom365 educates youth and young adults by teaching them the difference between healthy versus unhealthy relationships.
The goal is to support young people ages 11-24 who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence, sexual assault, or any type of abuse. Program participants are taught life skills including conflict resolution, self-care, coping skills and self-esteem. Trauma-informed care, counseling and support group services are available to participants.
The group's mission is to prevent abuse before it starts.
Another focus for the nonprofit is early intervention for individuals who are considered at-risk of committing verbal, emotional and physical abuse to others.
The Peoria-based group received $7,500 from Season for Sharing last year. It was one of 164 Arizona nonprofits that shared $1.8 million in donations from readers of The Arizona Republic and others who supported the annual Republic-sponsored drive. The funds helped enhance and expand its outreach help line services to around 340 teens across Maricopa County.
The Republic spoke with Bloom365 founder, Donna Bartos:
How many individuals do you help each year? We educate more than 3,000 youth on how to recognize healthy versus unhealthy relationships. We train hundreds of school personnel including, youth service providers, parents, caregivers and junior military personnel on how to respond to disclosures of domestic and sexual violence. We also trained more than 100 student lead peer advocates to promote violence-free relationships.
What obstacles or challenges has your organization experienced? We are currently working through the political climate around Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program delivery in schools. There are school board members across the state who are on a mission to remove BLOOM365 and similar programs from SEL student services. Parent's rights groups aim to disrupt the education, counseling, advocacy and intervention services we provide students who have witnessed, experienced or perpetrated interpersonal violence falsely claiming we are teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT). Their efforts have made it difficult focus to reach the students who need our supportive services the most and the trusted adults in their lives who would benefit from evidence-informed training on how to alleviate the risk factors associated with student and school violence.
What are your organization’s greatest needs? Unrestricted funding so we can build our infrastructure and capacity to scale our impact across the state. This means we need the general operating funds to hire staff for essential positions. Learn more at bloom365.org.
Ways to give
Fill out the secure, online form at sharing.azcentral.com.
Text “SHARING” to 91-999 and click on the link in the text message.
Go online at facebook.com/seasonforsharing and look for the “DONATE HERE” post.
Clip the coupon on Page 4A of The Arizona Republic, fill it out and mail it to P.O. Box 29250, Phoenix AZ 85038-9250.
Make a donation when you buy tickets to Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden. dbg.org.
Where does the money go?
When you give to Season for Sharing, you are helping nonprofits that support education, feed the hungry and help struggling families and older adults. The Republic pays all administrative costs, so 100% of donations go back to the community.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Season for Sharing helps prevent abuse in at-risk youth