by RANDI CANTRELL | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Blessed to Help Others

volunteer_bless1Aviara Oaks Middle School student Tatum Bless enjoys making bracelets. After attending a Stop Hunger Now event at her church last year, she realized that she could use her creativity to help others. Soon after, she launched her small business, Bless Bracelets. Tatum sells her hand-made bead bracelets to raise money for a charity called Seed Programs International (SPI). She explained, “When we raise $500 and send that money to SPI, they use it to send bags of seeds to a place of my choice. These seeds will turn into five tons of fresh vegetables for villages in places like Africa, Central and South America, and the Dominican Republic. They help the villagers learn how to grow their own crops so they can grow more vegetables once they run out.”

In addition to her work with SPI, Tatum volunteers with local organizations through her involvement in the National Charity League (NCL) and other groups like Forgotten Paws and her youth group at Daybreak Church. “NCL has been such a great experience because we work with so many different organizations that need help. Our Del Sol Chapter has members from Coronado to Oceanside, so it is fun to learn and grow with them. We are pretty much just like one big family,” she shared, adding, “With Forgotten Paws, I walk and play with dogs from bad backgrounds and help them get a forever family. It is important to me to help these charities, because I know that I am very fortunate to live where I do and have all of the things I have.”


Name: Tatum Bless
Community: Carlsbad
Family: Mom and Dad, one brother (12), a cat
Interests: Traveling, soccer, hanging out with my friends
Favorite Local Spots: The outlet malls, Ponto Beach
Websites: www.blessbracelets.comwww.seedprograms.org


volunteer_bless2

When she isn’t busy with her business or volunteering in the community, Tatum enjoys traveling with her family, going to the beach, and shopping at local malls in Carlsbad. While she is still young, Tatum does not let her age stop her from dreaming big for the future. “My goal is to help out as many people as I can. I also hope that one day Bless Bracelets can go to one of these places and teach them how to grow their food. I am really looking forward to meeting some of these wonderful people.” Learn more about Bless Bracelets or Seed Programs International at www.blessbracelets.com and www.seedprograms.org.

volunteer_bless3