Tis the season to spend money on items to express love, friendship, and fellowship. Offerings costing little or nothing throughout the year like saying, “I love you,” baking cookies, regularly sending cards with personal messages of friendship and appreciation, or offering little gifts like a flower on the pillow or a handful of Hersey kisses near the car keys throughout the year is, sadly, not enough. Instead, especially at this time of year, we’re conditioned to spend, baby! Spend!
Most people enjoy getting something to unwrap on special occasions, but let’s be honest. Too often gifts are over the top, grossly fulfill wants not needs, or are far more generous than any person requires. This year think charity donation in the name of someone who makes a difference in your life. Do so for a worthy non-profit who serves needy GLBTQ individuals.
This must be underscored – needy GLBTQ individuals. This is not about HRC, ACLU, GLAAD, or other nationally known non-profits who make a genuine, important difference in the lives of all GLBTQ Americans. There is a harsh reality unknown to most. Homeless GLBTQ youth are overlooked. Worse, imprisoned GLBTQ individuals aren’t recognized by the larger community. They’re nonexistent.
December 2012 is an opportunity for GLBTQ persons of conscience to make a greater difference.
The Ali Forney Center in New York City provides an array of life-giving and life-saving services to homeless GLBTQ youth. The Center affirms the personhood of young adults and helps give them a chance in life after they were thrown away by so-called families. Shelter, affirmation, and healthcare are among the services. The Center is always in need of supplies, donations, and volunteers. Hurricane Sandy, however, caused extraordinary harm and upheaval. Ali Forney needs you.
Black and Pink is a Boston based non-profit with a very spirited attitude in serving the incarcerated GLBTQ community throughout the country. Volunteers from anywhere in the nation can help by sending cards for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and during the December holidays. Ongoing pen pals to GLBTQ persons who are long-term residents of correctional facilities are in demand as are donations to the organization. You can make a difference.
Think about a different kind of gift for someone special this holiday season by making a difference in someone’s life. Black and Pink and/or the Ali Forney Center need you and are deserving of support.
Paul Jesep is an attorney, policy analyst, and author of Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis: Learn to Live and Work Ethically.