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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

San Diego Brain Injury Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Brain Disorders, Health

Mission: To improve the quality of life for brain injury survivors and their families living in San Diego County.

Results: Much of our efforts this year has been to maintain the programs and services we currently provide for our survivors. This includes our monthly supports group meetings, our helpline and newsletter.

Target demographics: Primarily survivors of all ages, their a families and caregivers of San Diego County. Our website, however, allows us to reach the brain-injury community throughout the country.

Geographic areas served: the brain injury community of San Diego

Programs: Helpline, monthly support group meetings, newsletter, hospital outreach program, speakers bureau

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kami C.

Donor

Rating: 5

My brother Kyle G. Cooprider has been a part of the SDBIF family for many years. Once he arrived from Germany, my parents Patti and Coop Cooprider found SDBIF on Saturdays to be a place Kyle felt accepted and welcomed! Kyle even gets to joke and speak a bit of German with Chuck (thank you Susan) - and another at ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) speaks German at Mesa College. Kyle, being connected like this, and adding the Ken Goldman's Art Classes -- they keep Kyle saying "I'm Kyle with a Smile" when I'm not "Vinci Van Kyle". Thank you SDBIF. Kami

Board Member

Rating: 5

SDBIF is a great resource for TBI survivors and their families. They provide informative monthly Saturday meetings for survivors, families, and caregivers. The guest speakers are very knowledgable and present the information at the appropiate level for TBI survivors.
The Survive Headstrong Walk for Recovery, Golf Tournament, and Friendraiser are annual events that SDBIF provides for the brain injury community that brings survivors, families, and friends together.
SDBIF provides survivors activities such as Day of Art and Friday Night Liberty (which highlights survivor artists.)
The SDBIF website has a wealth of information and resources.

I am proud to be a Board Member of this wonderful organization

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of volunteering with the SDBIF over the summer of 2018. The organization is very welcoming, and is a great support network for individuals who have suffered from a brain injury. The leadership is strong and organized, and values each and every member of the org as its own. For example, there are special events for members to take part in, and parents are welcome to join and are also provided support. Activities are fun, therapeutic, and bring closeness to the members. Proud to have been part of a great foundation!
-Jena G

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The San Diego Brain Injury Association is a very helpful resource for anyone who has experienced a brain attack. I have worked in physical rehabilitation as a recreation therapist and know the importance of having support for the family and survivor when the initial rehab is completed and their new life begins. Susan and Stephanie are very helpful and friendly and work collaboratively with many rehab centers to build that bridge back to the community. Thanks for all you do!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was so fearful about the future, and reeling from the overwhelming sense of loneliness I was experiencing after my husband suffered a stroke. I felt like I was the only one who was going through what I was going through, and I was desperate for relief. I learned from a friend that stroke is just one of the many types of traumatic brain injuries, and that I might find some help for myself at the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I called their number, and the very kind and patient person who answered the phone that day invited me to attend one of their meetings.

At that first meeting, I met other caregivers who assured me that they understood what I was going through. I also heard some very real and practical ideas for getting more support for myself as well as for my husband. Perhaps the most important benefit we have received so far from participating in just a few activities with SDBIF is that my husband now knows people with brain injuries who are living full lives. And those people and their families are more than happy to share with us what they did to get to where they are today.

I am quite grateful to the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. I feel like I have friends there.

guzman19

Board Member

Rating: 5

Informative and impactful - SDBIF is a wonderful non-profit for those injured and their families. Tremendous resources and support!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Professional organization that truly shows they care about this community

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As retired teachers, we are happy to be volunteers for SDBIF. It is a hard-working group doing good things for many people who have had unfortunate set backs in their lives. They do their tireless work with good cheer and optimism. It is great to be a part of this.

Gary and Andrea Matthews

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We happened upon this fine organization a few years ago and have assisted them with mailings and other things. We are impressed by the caring folks who work so tirelessly for the many people they are helping in so many ways. It is hard to imagine a more worthy group.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As retired teachers, we are happy to be volunteers for SDBIF. It is a hard-working group doing good things for many people who have had unfortunate set backs in their lives. They do their tireless work with good cheer and optimism. It is great to be a part of this.

Gary and Andrea Matthews

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation around four months after I came home from college at 18 with major compound concussions and a diagnosis of never being able to care for myself on my own ever again. My parents had no idea what to do with me, and didn't understand the major change in my personality and behavior. They were given little to no instruction by my neuroscientist at the time and were just as lost as I was. SDBIF gave me life skills tools, classes, and a renewed sense of strength and hope that I could be independent again someday. They provided my family with information, support, and resources; they felt that they were empowered in their role as caretaker. I left the program feeling that I would recover - perhaps not that I would ever be the same again, but that I could live a life worth living.
A little over 10 years later, I am now in my final semesters of a masters program to become a marriage and family therapist to help other families like my own find their own strength and hope in light of the fear that TBIs bring. I am convinced that if it wasn't for SDBIF, my life would not be what it is now!

1 Susan K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My brother Richard suffered a brain injury at birth 65 yrs ago. He never quite fit in...Howard House and SDBIF has given my brother new friends and a family of caring professionals.
Thank you
God Bless
Susan Knob

1 Barbara111

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF has been by far the most helpful agency in the life of my son who is a brain injury survivor! Without the input from their staff and volunteers, my son's life would be very different and much less fulfilling. They provided me guidance after the first shock of his accident, and then ongoing care and support as he worked his way through his new life. They have an amazing array of resources to share with anyone who needs it!!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SDBIF has been instrumental in helping our family through the maze of information and disinformation about my son's brain injury. Without their guidance at a critical time in our lives, I doubt that our outcome would be nearly as positive as it has been. Their monthly meetings are so helpful for both survivors and their families/careproviders that it is hard to miss one.

SDBIF is a wealth of knowledge about resources, activities, educational opportunities, and counseling. Recently a friend of mine also suffered a brain injury of a very different type than my son's injury. I knew immediately how to get her involved with SDBIF and their adjunct services. She has told me how grateful she is for the outreach and support they provide.

This is a unique organization that is extremely well run by very compassionate people who have immediate knowledge about brain injury - not just a bunch of goody-two-shoes college graduates with no experience.

If you ever need anything related to acquired brain injury in the San Diego area - this is THE place!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SDBIF Takes incredible efforts and consideration to make a positive change for people and families affected by Brain Injuries. They find ways to make fundraising fun and bring people together. It is a wonderful organization with a fantastic goal and members!

1 dangardner

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

San Diego Brain Injury foundation has provided excellent education and support to numerous TBI survivors and families with whom I have worked over the past 40 years. I applaud their tireless dedication and ongoing high quality services. San Diego is fortunate to have this organization as a resource.

Dan Gardner, MD
Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
Voluntary Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine

Previous Stories
1

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a treating doctor of TBI survivors and their families, as well as past board member, I've appreciated the high quality of educational and supportive services of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. Its leaders are dedicated, caring and compassionate. I salute SDBIF's contribution to the San Diego community.

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1 Jason B.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SDBIF is dedicated to helping those with acquired brain injury. They provide outstanding support for those injured and their family

1 Heike K.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization, dedicated, ethical people! So many wonderful events for the brain injury community in this area--the Survive headstrong Walk, the annual Friendraiser, and more recently, the Day Of Art for survivors to explore their creative and expressive talents.

Proud to be a Board member!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation serves the brain injury community in many exemplary ways through its survivor-focused activities, such as Art Day, First Friday at Liberty Station (to highlight survivor artists), and excellent monthly educational guest speakers. SDBIF also brings survivors, families and professionals together in great events such as the annual Survive Headstrong Walk, the Golf Tournament, and the Friendraiser featuring music, art, food, wine, and crafts produced by survivors. I am proud to be a Board Member of this wonderful organization!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an SDSU university student working on my master's degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling (helping person with disabilities find careers and employment). At the suggestion of one of my professors, I began volunteering with the SDBIF in 2014 and have made almost every south county meeting and event they have put on. At the once-a-month Saturday morning meetings, I help with set up and break down of the tables and chairs, as well as listen closely to the guest speakers that come to speak to the average of 30 persons per meeting about issues of significant interest to this population. They are an invaluable asset to the rehabilitation community in their promotion and advocacy for people who may have congenital deficits or Traumatic Brain Injury. They help with issues ranging from the simple task of inputting information into a smart phone, to navigating the programs offered by SSI and SSDI. For anyone desiring to volunteer for a good cause, this group is it and they do need this continued support from the foundation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was referred to the SDBIF about 3 years ago by Southern Caregiver Resource Center. I first went to a couple of meetings around December and realized what a great group of folks were working together to help those who had brain injuries. They did a Christmas skit with professionals and clients alike and it was a hoot.

What struck me most was the folks who spoke at a couple of the meetings. One was a lady who worked at San Diego State in the research department who herself had been in an accident and had a brain injury. This injury manifested in many odd behaviors which even her colleagues had trouble dealing with. She looked quite normal and she spoke with her usual cadence but she had difficulty with memory and moods etc. She would cry "at the drop of a hat". This alienated her even from the colleagues in the same department where she worked. Her condition was improving steadily and she was able to do more and more as time passed. She was an inspiration to us all and she and her husband were committed to finding ways to help those who had Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI's) and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI's). Also the information that I got from the Brain Injury magazine was helpful in preparing a program for the court to help our son get some mandatory treatment. I was able to list and research groups and classes which allowed us to begin a program of recovery for our son.
.
It also struck me that the SDBIF Group were open to new, innovative and pioneering types of therapy and treatments for brain injuries. They had someone give a presentation on Homeopathy. I had been to other meetings where drugs were the order of the day and odd and questionable behaviors were always classified as mental illness without much consideration of the cause. This was not the case with this group.

Since I am an avid proponent of more natural and non-invasive therapies I am always interested in what is happening in functional medicine vs the more drug/cut/burn protocols that are promoted by standard medicine. The SDBiF is open to all the modalities of treatment without condemning or condoning any one in particular. It is entirely up to the participants and their caregivers to make their choice what is best for them.

I was given options and information without hesitation. Everyone I spoke to was kind and friendly and very helpful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In the wake of our daughters brain injury, we were absolutely unsure of what was to come for her. The SDBIF stepped in prior to her discharge to educate us on brain injuries and their resources. We had a unique opportunity for our daughter to attend the SDBIF Brain Injury Learning Center. She is thriving. All of the staff are interested in the best interest of the clients they serve and do all things with loving hearts. I am indebted to the SDBIF and often refer people for services or simply to volunteer. Thank you SDBIF.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a stroke in 2005. I attended many SBIF meetings. I was able to speak with other people with brain damage. Sometimes only people who have been thru the same thing actually understand. For example, I would tell a friend that I had memory issues and the friend would insist she had them also. She had no idea about my type of memory issues and another survivor would.

The meetings always had useful speakers addressing the real needs of the brain injured community. Some of speakers spoke about accessing social services or learning to cope.

The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation creates a community of people addressing both the survivors and their caregivers.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SDBIF provides outstanding service to the brain injury survivors in San Diego County along with support to caregivers. We are fortunate to have them right here in San Diego!