We met our goal in less than 24 hours after posting this recent update! Thank you, Pittsburgh!
The headline is this – we still need gift cards for some of the LGBTQ elders connected to the SAGE project with Persad Center. They are all over 55 and have little to no family support so this may be one of their only holiday gifts. There are nine people total and they have varying needs in terms of cards. Truly, any amount helps. We can match up several $5 or $10 cards for one gift. We is Kathi Boyle who runs the project as a volunteer.
Kathi Boyle will distribute the cards starting December 19 so that’s the absolute deadline.
Here’s how it will work. I’ll give you a list of suggested retailers. You send the cards to Persad and the SAGE coordinator (Kathi Boyle) will divvy them up and make sure everyone gets what they most need. That way we protect the confidentiality and dignity of the recipients as well as respecting their wishes/preference/realities with regard to retailers. Any excess donations will be directed to other Persad clients who are in need (such as homeless LGBTQ youth.)
Suggested retailers include
- Amazon (2 clients in particular rely on Amazon for shopping)
- Giant Eagle, Shop n’ Save or other regional grocery stores
- Gas retailers – Sunoco, Getgo, etc
- Restaurants – Denny’s, Eat n Park, Kings Family Restaurants, Bob Evans, etc
If you want to go ‘off-list’ with a card, please take a moment to make sure the retailer you choose has locations in Westmoreland County as a guide. Many of these specific clients live in that or a similar rural with limited transportation resources so locations do matter. You can always direct specific questions to Kathi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-873-7723 ext. 310.
Cards can be mailed to Persad, dropped at the front desk or delivered to the holiday party (see below) in person. Please put the name ‘Kathi Boyle’ on the envelope to make sure it gets to her.
Persad’s Address is Persad Center 5301 Butler Street, Suite 100 Pittsburgh, PA 15201
You can purchase gift cards from Giant Eagle online and have them shipped to Persad.
Also, you can make a financial donation directly to Persad via their website to support their work with our elders on a year round basis. Make a secure donation online via the website.
Today, we visited Persad’s Holiday Party for LGBTQ elders. It was so much fun. Dozens of volunteers spent hours decorating the community spaces, dozens more baked cookies which were delicious (I tried all of them!) and folks showed up to serve and sing and entertain. We had a great meal courtesy of Market District, won some very fun door prizes and talked with lots of folks – old friends and new.
Ledcat ended up winning a sheep ornament, a scarf and a $25 gift card in the holiday costume contest – don’t ask, just look at the photos – where she presented as a modern retro lesbian homage to the suffragette look. Ahem. We wrapped up afternoon by transporting the extra cookies (at least 90 dozen?) to the residents of the men’s shelter at Northside Common Ministries. That’s a pretty great way to end a party. I can’t tell you how nice it was to walk into a venue and say “Hey, I’ve got 90 some dozen homebaked cookies donated by the LGBTQ community!”
You can check out my photo album if you’d like to see how the party played out. Click on this image to view the album.