“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I believe I am not alone when I say that the later part of December holds many thoughts reflecting upon the past year. January seems like a better time to reflect with the holidays behind us, and nevertheless, the December calendar begs us to look back on our journey as well as turn around and look forward. Maybe the chaos of the holiday, family, friends, food and shopping shake things up even more so that quiet reflection becomes an oasis in the midst of the pandemonium.

“How did we get here,” is a thought that I come back to quite often. It was January of 2018 that we officially opened our BRRC office even though we started working with a few families prior to that. January 2023 will mark the beginning of our sixth year. We as an organization are steadfast to our mission, “BRRC defends bullied children and helps rebuild lives.” We have evolved and found our footing as where we can best serve that mission in these last five years.  We empower families to defend their children where the bullying occurs. We preach that it is the adult’s responsibility to STOP bullying and that no child ever deserves to be bullied.

This past year has given BRRC an opportunity to lay more foundation to meet the growing need of our services. Some of the highlights of the past year include:

  • Assisting and empowering a record number of families since January 2022. (Just this last year alone, we have doubled the number of families we have served since we opened our doors!)
  • Outreach and partnering with mental health experts with an emphasis on suicide prevention and trauma.
  • Partnering and educating in the special needs and neurodiverse communities.
  • Assist with updating the Colorado Department of Education’s Model Bullying Policy and assuring that the 2021 passing of Jack and Cait’s lawwould aid bullying targets across the state.
  • Continued to partner with legal resources, when necessary, with the goal of assuring bullying targets a safe education and holding school districts accountable to take appropriate actions to stop bullying and make schools a safe environment for learning.
  • Partner with The Circle app to provide “Parents of Bullied Children” a place to meet other parents and gain support, ideas and hope.
  • We hosted our First Annual Upstander 5K with the support of runners/walkers, volunteers, amazing community partners and generous sponsors!
  • We have invested in updating our advocacy efforts with an online tracking tool to better assist the families we serve.

The BRRC buzzword for this new year is “expansion.” Here are some of the goals we have identified for the next 12 months.

  • Continue our focus on working statewide. Our outreach this last year has included the Colorado Springs area, northern Colorado, the western slope and mountain communities.  Our outreach efforts will continue in the metro area and beyond.
  • BRRC will begin producing and distributing educational videos that will assist any family dealing with bullying.
  • Partner with organizations in the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities to offer our resources and provide education.
  • We will be training and onboarding volunteer advocates to help families across Colorado.
  • Host our bigger and better 2nd Annual Upstander 5K in October 2023.

Looking to help? Here’s how:
As BRRC continues to expand, we are asking for support in several ways:

  • If you know a community or organization that could benefit from the resources BRRC offers and our expertise, please point them to us. We can speak to groups and meet with individuals and offer brochures to be distributed to anyone effected by bullying.
  • If you’re looking to make an end of year contribution, you can help BRRC to the finish line with an investment in The Dodge Family Fund (additional details below.) Your donation will go twice as far!
  • In January and February BRRC will provide details about volunteer positions. We will be training advocates and other volunteers to enable us to offer hope to more families and communities affected by bullying.
  • Plan on becoming an UPSTANDER and participate in our 2nd Annual 5K in October 2023. We are looking for sponsors and community partners to make this event one to not miss!
  • If you know of a family who is dealing with bullying, have them contact us. We can be reached via phone (303) 991-1397, or by filling out information on our BRRC website.

All of us at BRRC wish you peace and kindness this holiday season. We especially wish the families we have assisted some valuable time to nurture, heal and rest. Here’s to a new year of expansion, inclusion, compassion and upstanders.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

By Dru Ahlborg
Executive Director
Bullying Recovery Resource Center