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Bloom, Bites & Brews fundraiser to help local homeless youth

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Homelessness has become more of an issue in the Reno community in recent years, and among the numbers are children.

One local organization of women is trying to change that.

The Junior League of Reno is hosting their "Bloom--Bites and Brews" fundraiser this month.

It's all in an effort to raise money for non-profits committed to helping our homeless youth and others in need.

These local non-profits need your help.

Lexie's Gift

Lexie Valverde's life was tragically cut short when she was suddenly killed in a car crash back in 2016.

"She had a big zealous personality," said Lexie's mother and founder of Lexie's Gift, Barbie Marcoe.

After Lexie's death, Marcoe decided she needed to do something to keep her daughter's giving spirit alive.

Marcoe founded Lexie's Gift, a non-profit that brings a boutique shopping experience to homeless, at-risk teens and other children in need.

"We dreamed of building this tiny closet that we could drive around and people could have a shopping experience as opposed to getting plastic bags full of stuff," said Marcoe.

Modern racks and hangers replace plastic bags inside the traveling closet--a chandelier hanging from the ceiling puts the finishing touch on the boutique.

"People kind of get to feel like they have a choice in what they're wearing," said Marcoe. "As opposed to going out in something that doesn't make them feel so good."

Lexie's Gift is just one of a handful of local charities that will benefit from a fundraiser hosted by the Junior League of Reno at the Governor's Mansion in Carson City on April 28th.

The fundraiser will help bring essential resources to charities---like Safe Embrace, a shelter that helps local victims of abuse.

Safe Embrace

"Domestic and sexual violence is a significant issue everywhere," says Program Director of Safe Embrace Jessica Cisneros.

And Reno is no exception.

Safe Embrace saw 2000 calls for service last year-- proof Cisneros says that Reno needs Safe Embrace's services now more than ever.

But signs of abuse aren't always obvious.

"A lot of times you see pictures of domestic violence survivors and there's a black eye," said Cisneros. "But a lot of times a lot of our victims call in and it's not just physical violence, it's psychological, it's emotional, it's verbal. So there's a lot of things that people don't see."

To stop this cycle of violence Safe Embrace offers a refuge for people facing a life or death situation.

"The need for safe housing safe shelter for these victims is really crucial to ensuring that people in these types of relationships have the ability to flee," Cisneros added.

Volunteers of America

55 children live at the Volunteers of America family shelter in Reno.

The shelter features a new early learning center and child care to help homeless parents get back on their feet.

The children play in an ally way, but the non-profit is hoping to use donations from Junior League's fundraiser to transform this space into a well-equipped and safe playground.

The organization plans to cover the black top in a rubber material, add bright colors, and replace the old toys with new.

"It adds a little normalcy in their lives--something that their parents, at this point in time, are unable to provide," said Regional Development Officer for Volunteers of America Northern Nevada Linda Grace.

Grace says a little love goes a long way.

"The kids are very basic, and they take what they can get and appreciate everything--the simplest things," said Grace. "You see those smiles on their faces, and to me that's worth everything."


Bloom--Bites & Brews Fundraiser

Hosted by the Junior League of Reno

Saturday, April 28th

Nevada Governor's Mansion

606 Mountain St, Carson City, Nevada 89703

4-7 P.M.

For tickets to the fundraiser go to:

www.JLRBloom.org

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