CALM’s Silent Gala tied directly in with their recent “I Will Not Be Silent” public awareness campaign, generating support from the Santa Barbara community and beyond to NOT be silent in the face of child abuse.
This first-time virtual event was incredibly significant for the organization in that every dollar raised went directly to supporting CALM’s critical programs and services that prevent, assess, and treat child abuse. This fundraising also allows CALM to continue the community-funded services that they provide, including school-based education and mandated reporter training. The response from their Silent Gala was overwhelming, and it impacted CALM on so many different levels, including the fact that the organization saw its highest client intake numbers during the month of April as a direct result of the awareness generated.
“A 39-year-old man who had been sexually molested when he was five years old called us and explained that he had seen our “I Will Not Be Silent” public service announcement on TV and decided it was time to speak up,” said Ann Bryant, CALM’s Prevention and Parenting Coordinator. “His story is not the only one, and it’s critical moments like this where we know that our message is being heard, and we’re able to help.”
“Current clients being served by CALM are also being impacted by our campaign efforts, and are developing a newfound understanding and appreciation for their time with us,” said Executive Director, Cecilia Rodriguez. “Recently a mother approached me in the waiting room with a big smile and told me that her young son, who is our client, saw me on TV and recognized me. He felt truly validated by our message, and understood that what happened to him was not his fault.”
CALM would like to take this opportunity to send genuine and heartfelt thanks to the Santa Barbara community for its overwhelming support of their Silent Gala. Between the Silent Gala, the online auction, and the ongoing “I Will Not Be Silent” effort, CALM raised approximately $150,000. CALM distributed 2,000 “I Will Not Be Silent” reusable bags through partnerships with the County Board of Education, THRIVE, the Santa Barbara Library system, and CAP-C (Child Abuse Prevention Council). CALM received resolutions from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and the Goleta City Council declaring support for the “I Will Not Be Silent” campaign and that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month throughout Santa Barbara County. The “I Will Not Be Silent” pledge has grown to more than 2,100 names, and CALM had more than 30 new donors added to CALM’s list of supporters. The Development team at CALM was also thrilled to find that donors from years past were returning with renewed support for CALM and the Silent Gala. Because this community was not silent, CALM’s waiting list has doubled in size. CALM now must find even more resources to treat, assess, and heal children and families.
In addition to these measurable outcomes from the Gala and Campaign, CALM is also celebrating the intangibles, including tremendous staff pride and higher visibility and recognition in the Santa Barbara community.