17-year-old Albuquerque girl unveils ‘Blowing Off Steam Room’
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hundreds have donated their time, money, and equipment to The Grief Center this past year. Now, they’re no longer just surviving – they’re thriving.
Part of that is because a young girl picked up the phone and asked if there was anything she could do to help.
17-year-old Fallon Setter first heard about The Grief Center after it was broken into last summer.
“I saw the news story that they got broken into, so I reached out,” said Setter. “That first phone call was just kind of like hearing about how much damage there was, and what they lost, and really just letting them know that I’m willing to help with anything that they need from me.”
What The Grief Center needed was a safe space for people of all ages to really let it all out.
“This is the Blowing Off Steam Room, and it’s used for just letting out your anger through from your grief, but in a safe way,” said Setter.
Setter raised more than $4,000 with help from her friends, family, and parents’ coworkers to make it happen.
“We had around 20 to 30 people who helped reach out with donations,” Setter said. “The money helped pay for the padded walls and the floors.”
“A lot of times with children, anger is disguised as pain, and so they don’t know how to express that pain. And so, being able to come in this room, and you know, kick something, punch something, stomp their feet, you know, slam up against the wall, however they want to do it. It’s really important, and it’s safe,” said Suzie Blake, The Grief Center’s development director.
It can also be used as a quiet space.
“It’s a nice space to cuddle up with one of our stuffed animals, and be able to maybe just sit quietly. We have a lot of books in our free grief resource library,” said Blake.
Blake says she’s overwhelmed by the support they’ve received from the community since their break in – from donated money and equipment, to volunteers that have allowed them to expand their programs.
“We’ve served almost 700 people since September, and we’re just really fortunate to be able to have this service in our community,” said Blake.
Setter chose this as her Gold Award Project for the Girl Scouts. All of the donors who contributed to the Blowing Off Steam Room will be able to see it Monday night at 6 p.m. at The Grief Center for the first time.
Grief Center reps say they’ve been using it since February, and have already seen tremendous progress from this service.