Opinion

VOLUNTEER VIEW: Dream Bigger helps rebuild lives after family violence

Dream Bigger was established in 2008 and had about 36 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: Since 2008 Dream Bigger has been preventing violence against women and children through unique, tailored services for those who fall through the cracks of services. That includes financial coaching, legal advocacy, long-term housing, health and wellness group, scholarships and micro-enterprising. Dream Bigger has forged through these first seven years powered by the motivation to improve the lives of women and children who’ve escaped family violence. We’ve secured unique individual solutions for women in need of financial and educational coaching, emotional support, securing safe homes and successful career planning. Providing these one-on-one tailored services equips clients to gain strength, confidence, knowledge and the tools to become self-sufficient, financially independent providers for themselves and their children for the long-term.

Volunteer highlights: Volunteers provide Dream Bigger clients with repair of their homes with donated materials from local businesses. Volunteers teach home maintenance skills causing clients to feel supported by their community during a very difficult time in their lives. They share how empowered they feel with their new skills and say it takes the fear out of home ownership. Volunteers during our Adopt a Fam for Christmas campaign collect gift cards from their constituents so women can provide Christmas for their children in a way that is practical yet laced with just enough dignity so they can feel normal again for a season. We’re committed to fill the gaps of services for women and their children as they rebuild their lives after escaping family violence. Successful long-term economic self-sufficiency and independence requires community support – we’re so thankful for our volunteers!

Signature fundraiser: Rock & Rye Oyster House fundraiser for Dream Bigger is 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. April 21, at 1145 North State St, Bellingham. Ten percent of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Dream Bigger.

Wish list: Cash donations; gift cards to Fred Meyer, Costco, Walmart; PC or Apple laptop computers; clothing and household items, which can be dropped at Labels Consignment to benefit Dream Bigger; shop Smile Amazon to Benefit Dream Bigger; link your Fred Meyer frequent shopper card to Dream Bigger, No. 93973.

Volunteer needs: Volunteer grant writer needed; also volunteers to address envelopes and fold and stuff newsletters; plan and organize events and fundraisers; assist with 2015 antique car show (date to be determined); clothing drive coordinator.

For more information, go online to DreamBigger.info.

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