Year One in the Books
We are officially in our second year of operation at Bullying Recovery Resource Center. We opened our doors in January of 2018 and obtained our 501 (c)(3) in 2017. Our work began in earnest in November 2017 after we settled a lawsuit we filed against my son’s former school. It was time to make lemonade out of lemons, and fertilizer out of poop. My husband and I moved our efforts into creating a non-profit organization to help bullied children and their families. Hence, BRRC was born.
We quickly got to work and had the support of many allies we had met up to that point. My husband and I determined that our buzzwords and the pillars of our organization would be STOP, RECOVER and ASSIST.
- STOP – It is the responsibility of adults to STOP bullying. BRRC helps parents advocate in schools to get the adults to STOP the bullying.
- RECOVER – BRRC believes that bullied children can RECOVER and help other bullied children to recover. BRRC hosts peer groups to provide a fun, engaging environment for children to recover and grow.
- ASSIST – BRRC will ASSIST efforts in anti-bullying and bullying prevention. BRRC will help and work with anti-bullying charities and individuals to promote understanding and unity.
We hosted our first Peer Group and Parent’s Advocacy group February 2018. Families that we had met on our journey thus far joined us on a Saturday afternoon. The children worked with our Youth Facilitator Phil and talked about resentment and the power of speaking to others. The children got acquainted and learned about each other. The parents met down the hall in a conference room. They also got to know each other and share how they were walking through the agony of being parents of a bullied child. We have learned that the families that find us have been through severe trauma and pain. We all are in agreement that bullying is not a natural occurrence and it must be STOPPED.
During our first year we participated and did many things to get us going. Some highlights include:
- Starting a web-page
- Setting up a Board of Directors that includes experts in the fields of bullying, finance, and media
- Applying for grants
- Designing a logo
- Becoming a presence on social-media
- Participating in a teen health-fair
- Counseling and advocating for over 30 families in Colorado
- Providing Peer Support Groups on a monthly basis during the school year
- Partnering with a Denver-based Educational attorney
- Providing an adult-education class on bullying and how to get schools to stop it
- Attending several school board meetings to talk about bullying
- Speak about bullying on “Get IEP Help”
- Provide legal assistance to obtain a restraining order against a tormentor who was bullying one of our clients
- Aid in providing Gebser letters and filing complaints with the Department of Education for our clients
- Provide service projects for our Peer Recovery Groups
- Meeting and speaking with local and national anti-bullying organizations and experts
We are not a 9:00-5:00 organization. We have spent many evenings and weekends speaking, educating and counseling with parents who are in need. When we were in their shoes, we had nowhere to turn to. That was our biggest motivation to start BRRC.
The more we learn about bullying and the families we have the honor of working with, the more we learn how prevalent and corrosive it has become. We have learned that there are adults in schools who want to turn their backs on bullied children, or worse, want to blame the victim for the bullying. We have learned that schools sometimes want to treat bullying as conflict and that can have dire results for the bullied child. We have also learned that bullied children can grow, recover and prosper after some time, understanding and compassion from caring individuals.
Year two holds many lofty goals and aspirations for our charity. Our desire is to grow and to help more families in need. We will continue to educate people about bullying and what can be done to STOP it by participating in more schools, charity events and speaking engagements. We plan on partnering with other non-profits to help children in need of mental health and suicide prevention. We will continue to be a mighty advocate and help families STOP bullying and protect and heal their children.
We need your help. As we continue to grow we are asking adults to become advocates for our children. We ask you to tell your friends and families about us and to contact us if they need our help or have questions. Lastly, we ask that you consider donating to us to help us continue to grow our organization and reach more people who need our help and expertise. We have learned that it will take a village to make an impact on the problem of bullying. We thank you in advance for your consideration and look forward to continuing to lead the charge to disrupt the bullying cycle.
Dru Ahlborg, Executive Director BRRC