2018 LGBTQ Holiday Giving Projects: Supporting Persad, SisTers Pgh, and Garden of Peace

Every year during this season, I ask you to support particularly vulnerable members of our community.

This year, we are once again focusing on Persad Center, but two different populations – isolated rural LGBTQ elders and LGBTQ youth. We have also invited SisTers Pgh and Garden of Peace to be part of our program because this is one small gesture we can make to show our support of the transgender community. There are certainly other worthwhile recipients. If you are in a position to give, please consider these.

Please see my curated LGBTQ Giving Guide in the Pittsburgh Current

And my curated LGBTQ Gift Guide also in the Pittsburgh Current

I’ve organized hundreds of drives and scores of holiday specific drives over the years. A gesture of support on your part can have a powerful, deep impact on the lives of your neighbors. There are opportunities to involve your family, your coworkers, or your faith community.

We will update as the season unfolds.

Persad’s SAGE program

Serves elders (or 50+ if you prefer) with a range of programs, including weekly coffee chats, workshops, social outings, and friendly visitor programs that specifically target isolation among those who live in rural communities.

Our focus are individuals in this program who do not have family support and live remotely – we want to make sure they have at least one gift this season from their community and neighbors. So we ask for two things: gift cards from Giant Eagle and from Amazon.

These gifts allow the elders the dignity and luxury to make their own choices about what to purchase. Giant Eagle cards are particularly flexible and helpful. In some cases, these cards can be used to buy gas for the person who transports them to the grocery store or other appointments. In other situations, they can be used to buy other gift cards that the individual selects. And then of course there is food.

Our goal is to provide gift cards for 6 individuals, 5 who need Giant Eagle and 1 who specifically prefers Amazon and has the tools to redeem it. SAGE staff, including Kathi Boyle, will divide the total donations equitably among the recipients. Any excess will be used to support other Persad clients with holiday needs.

Cards and donations can be mailed to or dropped at the Persad office in Lawrenceville during business hours: 5301 Butler Street, Suite 100 – Pittsburgh, PA 15201. You can also make an online donation – please BE SURE to indicate you want your donation to support this specific effort – via the Persad secure website.

Total participants – 6

Items Requested – Gift Cards from Giant Eagle and Amazon

Deadline – December 20, 2018

Contact person – Kathi Boyle kboye@persadcenter.org

Persad’s Youth Programs

Serves LGBTQIA+ youth ages 14-21 through a drop-in center, afterschool programming, social events, and individual case management in addition to the general counseling supports available.

This year, they’ve set up a giving tree of sorts, asking each youth to make a specific wish for an item up to $25. You can be matched with a youth and fulfill their wish.

They have 65 names on the giving tree. So we need 65 people to step forward and respond. You can contact Lyndsey Sickler directly to request a wish or two.

They also have an Amazon wishlist set up for youth programming needs.

They are planning a holiday gathering for youth in early-mid December so if you’d like to contribute refreshments, contact Lyndsey ASAP.

Total participants – 65

Items Requested – individual wishes; items on Amazon wishlist

Deadline – December 9, 2018 on wishes; no deadline on Amazon wishlist

Contact Person – Lyndsey Sickler lsickler@persadcenter.org

SisTers Pgh

SisTersPGH is a transgender/nonbinary centered shelter transitioning program based in Pittsburgh, PA. SisTersPGH, Corp offers outreach, accurate trans/nonbinary education, advocacy, and emergency sheltering for trans/nonbinary youth and adults, with the primary goal of establishing permanent low-income housing for people transitioning out of emergency shelters.

SisTers is collecting items for transgender and nonbinary youth and adults during this holiday season. They have identified bus tickets and gift cards as their priority.

Total participants – unspecified

Items Requested – Port Authority bus tickets and gift cards

Deadline – rolling 

Contact Person – Ciora Thomas, ciora.thomas@sisterspgh.org 

Garden of Peace

They are organizing a backpack gift drive. They are asking for community members to fill backpacks with toiletries, hygiene products, gift cards and a special gift or two to be donated to homeless, housing insecure and transient Trans and Queer people for the holidays. They also need donations for their Holiday Meal on December 23. 

Please contact them to arrange for delivery of donations.  They also accept checks and money orders to Garden of Peace, PO Box 59114 Pittsburgh Pa 15210. Online donations can be made at paypal.me/gardenofpeace

Total Participants – unspecified

Items Requested – backpacks with items (see above), food for holiday meals

Deadline: December 23, 2018

Contact Person: Rashod Brown, info@gardenofpeaceproject.org


If you are in a position, a holiday donation to AMPLIFY will help support our efforts to document the experiences of community elders and youth.


For a glimpse at previous year projects click here. And leave a comment with other projects you’d like to promote.

Please see my curated LGBTQ Giving Guide in the Pittsburgh Current

And my curated LGBTQ Gift Guide also in the Pittsburgh Current



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