Focus on Mental Health

Dear family and friends,                                                             Thank you for your continued interest in Azalea Blossom! We appreciate how each of you, in your own way, is invested in making this world a better and safer place for our most vulnerable populations including our children. Following is our latest news.

Mental Health Awareness Month
We first would like to express our profound grief regarding the recent shootings at the Topps grocery store in Buffalo, New York and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are with every individual who was affected by these events. We believe these tragedies speak to the current mental health crisis and the importance of mental health intervention for our youth. 

Although May has come to a close, we want to bring attention to mental health and how this connects to our important work of preventing violence and abuse. In addition to stronger gun laws, it is absolutely imperative that preventative measures and education regarding prevention are accessible nationwide. Azalea Blossom strives to do just that through the SAFE through the arts and Bricks in the Wall programs.

Donations Urgently Needed
In honor of Mental Health Awareness, we encourage you to consider making a donation to Azalea Blossom. Your contributions are necessary to make it possible for us to do the important work that we do in spreading awareness, prevention, and education of domestic, social, and child abuse through the performing and creative arts. We gratefully welcome contributions of any amount.

SAFE through the arts Update
We know that you are eagerly awaiting the final version of the trailer for our SAFE through the arts television series. Amy Gong is currently hard at work in making final edits. We cannot wait to show you how our SAFE puppets, songs, and arts activities come together to bring compassionate communication, positivity and empowerment education to young children. 
SAFE through the arts program in Schenectady schools
The Bricks in the Wall Update 
Director Margaret Jean Bernstein, Director and our multi-talented Amy Jade Gong are in the process of recreating the Bricks in the Wall Program for women and children in Domestic Violence shelters in the tri-state area. Different offerings will soon be available for booking with the Bricks in the Wall program. These sessions and workshops will include events and activities such as our Founder and Director Margaret Jean Bernstein sharing her story and performing beautiful songs from the Bricks in the Wall album, empowerment exercises from the SAFE through the arts program, beginner Hatha and Vinyasa yoga classes with a trauma-informed social-emotional learning (SEL) focus, and art therapy exercises.
Featured Board Member of the Month
Chelsea Cross is our featured volunteer of the month in honor of her birthday this month. A current fourth grade teacher at Donald J. Marquez Elementary School in Chicago, Chelsea has served in a variety of roles with Azalea Blossom since 2008. In addition to her current role as treasurer and secretary of the board of directors, she has worked on the media outreach committee, written grants as an intern from Oberlin College, and has participated in our first ever SAFE through the arts retreat giving valuable feedback to our award-winning program. She also serves as our IT support and was instrumental in helping to launch the Mimi Fox benefit concert via Facebook Live last spring. Chelsea is also a dedicated, exemplary, and outstanding teacher, a wonderful friend and mentor, and an incredibly valuable asset on our team. She brings enthusiasm and positivity wherever she goes and we are so grateful for her many years of service with Azalea Blossom.
Quotation of the Month
“Youth are our arrows to the future.” (Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha)

With love, best wishes and gratitude, xo

Margaret Jean Bernstein,
Founder and Executive Director,
Azalea Blossom, Incorporated
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