Now Bloom officials are hosting “Bocce with Bloom,” a fundraiser at the Marin Bocce Federation in San Rafael featuring lunch, drinks, raffle prizes and plenty of games of bocce, also known as Italian lawn bowling and one of the most widely played games in the world.
Set for Saturday, Nov. 2, 12-4pm, the event has drawn sponsorships from Seagate Properties, Doran & Associates, Nelly and Lagunitas Brewing Co., among others.
Barbara Lee founded the nonprofit after President Clinton established the welfare-to-work program and she learned 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 these women who were struggling to meet the serious challenges in their lives.
The organization morphed into Bloom in 2016 to reflect its broader array of services designed to have a direct, tangible impact on people’s lives at a critical moment: people and families transitioning to a life of self-reliance and looking for a job, whether it’s a person just released from prison, someone recovering from substance abuse or a victim of domestic abuse seeking independence.
Located at 1557 Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael, Bloom runs a retail store that accepts donated clothing. They also take a lot of that clothing to the clients that are referred to them through a variety of social services agencies like Adopt a Family of Marin, Center for Domestic Peace, Community Action Marin and the Marin Employment Connection, as well as school administrators, clergy and teachers.
Clients can come back to Bloom every season, and the organization’s volunteer dressers are trained to deliver a “Nordstroms-like experience,” the organization says. “They act as personal shoppers for their clients. And those clients feel really respected, which is part of our mission. It’s not just about clothes.
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 had served more than 15,000 clients by the end of 2015.
The 411: Bloom is hosting “Bocce with Bloom,” a fundraiser at the Marin Bocce Federation in San Rafael featuring lunch, drinks, raffle prizes and plenty of games of bocce. 12-4pm. 550 B Street. MORE INFO & TIX.
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