We are kicking off our annual #ReachOUT project to collect gift cards to support isolated LGBTQ neighbors living throughout the region. Our partner in this effort is Persad Center which hosts the regional chapter of SAGE.
This year, our project has two distinct components.
First, we are continuing our tradition of asking you to donate gift cards to SAGE participants who might not receive a holiday gift. We have NINE people in need this year so I am confident that we can reach our goal to make sure they each have a nice gift card. My hope is that we can collect at least two cards for each person.
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 [email protected] 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.
Persad Center – SAGE 5301 Butler Street, Suite 100 Pittsburgh, PA 15201 Attn: SAGE
The second part of our #ReachOUT effort is the 2016 SAGE Holiday Party for Seniors which is scheduled for Sunday December 11 from 1-4 PM at the Persad Center in Lawrenceville. The party is co-sponsored by NEXUS and will be catered due to the kindness of a donation from Giant Eagle. They are expecting 120-150 people at the gathering.
We have several ways that you can help
Cookie Table – Kathi would like to have a lovely Pittsburgh cookie table filled with all of the holiday favorites so everyone can enjoy and take some home. You can help by donating a dozen or more cookies for this specific event. Cookies can be dropped at Persad on December 8 and 9 (Thurs and Fri) during business hours. They can also accept donations on Saturday December 10 by appointment. If you are baking that week or perhaps driving near a bakery, please consider this request.
*If you own a business that would like to donate other baked goods, coffee, non-alcoholic beverages or more to this event, please contact Kathi directly at [email protected] or 888-873-7723 ext. 310.
Volunteers – Kathi needs volunteers to help set up the event, serve during the meal and clean-up afterwards. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Please contact her directly if you can commit to a shift anytime between 10 AM and 6 PM on Sunday, December 11, 2016.
Transportation Volunteers – Kathi has at least 4 seniors who will need a ride to and from the party from their homes in Westmoreland County and Fayette County. If you can commit to transport a neighbor one or both ways, please reach out to Kathi ASAP. One of the seniors has a wheelchair so your vehicle would need to be able to accommodate a folded up chair. [email protected] or 888-873-7723 ext. 310.
All volunteers are welcome to join the festivities and bring their own families to spend time with community elders.
Admission to the party is free. We are asking those who are able to donate a gift card at the party.
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents is super excited to be a sponsor of this effort so we’ll see you at the party!
Random Other Bits of Information
- Please, no cards or wrapping. You may donate gift bags and trimming, but Kathi needs to be able to see everything before she distributes.
- The absolute deadline to submit gift cards is December 16.
- As we mentioned, anything extra will be distributed to others in need at the discretion of Kathi and the Persad staff. So no worries – it all goes to help others!
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