In January 2010, more than 30,000 small business “love notes” were posted to Love A Local Business. Each message of affection for one small business also served as a nomination for that particular company to win a much sought-after grant from Intuit.
The deserving Grand Prize recipient that month was Blossom Birth, a non-profit community-based education and resource center based in Palo Alto, California that provides pregnant women and their partners with a “supportive, holistic, and non-judgmental view of pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting.”
According to Mora Oommen, Executive Director of Blossom Birth, the grant — $25,000 worth of local radio advertising on the Westwood One network, $9,500 in cash and $500 in Intuit products and services — “helped us take on some risks that we might have considered too risky before.”
“Through classes, workshops, support groups, and accessibility to community resources,” Oommen says, “Blossom strives to support and inform expectant and new parents so they can raise healthy, secure children — making our community strong now and into the future.”
Thanks to the grant from Intuit, Blossom Birth is in the process of expanding the center to include an additional room to offer more classes and community services. “We are the only nonprofit resource center in the Peninsula,” Oommen adds, “that offers childbirth classes using a variety of approaches together with other classes, resources, informational talks, and referrals.”
Reflecting on how far Blossom Birth has come since the organization was launched some ten years ago, Oommen says Blossom Birth has survived the same way so many other small businesses have, by digging deep into one’s community.
“Blossom has always had a strong sense of community. In addition to a dedicated staff, board and instructors we have a community of volunteers who donate time, money and services to help our center stay open,” Oommen boasts. “We still have a lot to learn to be a sustainable, thriving organization. We have never had to close our doors but we have also always had to remain creative to stay afloat. We don’t have much of a marketing budget… but we have tried to take advantage of free social networking sites such as Facebook to keep engaged with our community.”
As a result of Blossom Birth’s commitment to community — a commitment that shows no sign of slowing — countless individuals have been helped in truly significant, lasting ways.
“We work with women and their families at a critical time in their lives — when they are pregnant and early in their parenting years,” Oommen says. “Many women have told us that Blossom helped and prepared them for an informed birth, helping then understand their options and become part of the process.”
For more information about the organization and its invaluable services, please visit Blossom Birth.
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