Bloom, the San Rafael-based nonprofit that provides free wardrobes and life skills training to men, women and families transitioning to a life of self-reliance and looking for a job, is ready to put the tumultuous, coronavirus-driven roller coaster behind it with a virtual fundraiser and its first ever virtual fashion show.
Tix for the event, set for Wednesday, May 18th (6-7pm), are on sale now here.
There is also a silent auction.
Formerly called Image for Success, the organization was founded in 1999 by Barbara Lee, after President Clinton established the welfare-to-work program and Lee found out that one San Rafael agency had 40 women ready to go to work but didn’t have any business clothes. Prior to Image for Success’ creation, Cal Works (a welfare-to-work program) had provided each of their clients with vouchers to shop at a local discount store. But Lee wanted to create a more positive and personalized shopping experience for women who were struggling to meet the serious challenges in their lives.
Over the years, the program grew, expanding to include men in 2005, and then relocated to Fourth Street in 2007, allowing the organization to open a consignment store. In 2011, bolstered by revenue from that store, Image for Success hit a milestone of having served 10,000 clients. The organization continued to expand on its partnerships with referring agencies, and has now served more than 15,000 clients.