Up against 63 other local nonprofits in Brackets for Good of Indianapolis, Brooke's Place took a competitive fundraising lead and was awarded a generous $10,000 grand prize for their organization. Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more about Brooke's Place and how you can help transform grief into hope.
Mark: We welcome you to the FirstPerson Video Blog series. Mark Minner, joined by Sarah Weaver, from Brooke's Place. A volunteer and the Board Chair and the Brackets for Good winner here in 2017 in Indianapolis. Sarah, congratulations on that and for all you do for the organization. I appreciate you joining us!
Sarah: Thank you so much for having me!
Mark: So, let's talk about Brooke's Place. For those unfamiliar, what is the organization all about?
Sarah: So at Brooke's Place we provide grief support groups and therapy services to children, teens, young adults, and their families here in Central Indiana. We've been around since 1999 and we just continue to expand our services and it's a really exciting time. Obviously, Brackets for Good has been such an exciting piece to add to the Brooke's Place Puzzle.
Mark: It had to be a special process to go through that and watch. There were certainly some great fundraiser dollars that came in, but the awareness for the organization grew as well.
Sarah: Absolutely. I think that is probably the biggest piece, the biggest benefit we've been able to reap from Brackets for Good. People knowing who we are and what we do. I think often in Central Indiana when there is a death, people do kind of come out of the woodwork and talk about Brooke's Place, and that we are there. But, even before something happens, or those that haven't experienced grief, just to know who we are and what we do, and how they can support other grieving kids in their community.
Mark: What are the ways that people can watch this and find out how they can volunteer and get involved?
Sarah: We have a lot of volunteer opportunities. You know, we couldn't operate without volunteers like many nonprofits. But, truly our volunteers form the heart of what we do. We have facilitators that go through a pretty extensive 22-hour training. And they actually work with the children in the support groups. So, they lead them through activities but at the end of the day the kids really call the shots at Brooke's Place.
Mark: Aside from the volunteer opportunities, for corporations or businesses that want to support, there are ways to do that as well?
Sarah: Absolutely. So, sponsorship opportunities. We have our Hope for Tomorrow Golf Outing coming up on Monday, June 5. Which we're very excited about! We also have our legacy of hope breakfast which this year will be held on Thursday, November 16. Bright and early, it's held every year on National Children's Grief Awareness Day. It's a really powerful breakfast. We had over 500 people last year, hoping to top that this year. And there are lots of sponsorship opportunities in that respect. We have amazing partnerships and we're always open to corporations that might want to partner with us in new and interesting ways.
Our good friends at Watermark actually put on a holiday store for our kids in our support groups. They go out and purchase items, not expensive things, but then the kids get tickets and they get to come and shop for their loved ones at the holidays. This is really important because a lot of times, if you're grieving at your first holiday, you're not celebrating. The kids may not have someone to shop with for their remaining parent if they've had a parent die. It's a really powerful piece that Watermark has brought to the table. FlexPAC was our corporate sponsor through Brackets for Good. We've had so much fun with them. We are just always open to creative idea, exploring opportunities, and of course we have traditional sponsorship as well.
Mark: Well, FirstPerson has always enjoyed the partnership with Brackets for Good helping great organizations that yours. Sarah, thank you so much for joining us.
Sarah: Thank you so much for having me!
Mark: That's Sarah Weaver of Brooke's Place. We appreciate you joining this month on the FirstPerson Video Blog series. We'll catch you next time!