Protecting Trans Kids During the Holidays

Protect Trans Kids Holidays

Some folks are sending in photographs of their #ProtectTransKids yard signs with their holiday decorations. One person, bottom row, second from the right, organized their decor around the sign itself.

Please feel free to send your own images to PLC folx@pghlgbtq.org

We have ordered 1150 yard signs to date, since late June. There are still some available if you would like one. Fill out the form at bit.ly/ProtectTransKidsSigns You can also request stickers and pens.

We will continue to produce and distribute as long as there are requests and donations.

The Holiday Gift Card Drive for LGBTQ Students is also going well. We have over 320 students, ages 12-21, enrolled. If you have LGBTQ youth in your program or school whom you’d like to enroll, you can do so. And we definitely appreciate donations of all gift cards. We will put them to use.

Here’s my gift card drive story circa 2005.

I was coordinating a drive for youth in foster care. I went to pick up donations and speak to a group at a small church. Toward the end of the service, a man rushed in quite hastily and clearly out of breath. He approached me and handed me a gift card to a local drug store chain, almost sheepishly. I assured him it would much appreciated by someone.

The next year, the same church invited me back and once again, I spoke. This time I shared the story of that gift card. This is what had happened:

After I went back to my office and logged in the donations, the gift card was added to the small pile we had accumulated – our plan was to distribute them to older youth and teens. The casework supervisor handled all of that. They decided to give the drug store gift card to a 17-year-old single mother, figuring she would like to select her own personal care items or even snacks or whatever for herself and her child (it wasn’t their only gift.) This mother was in a placement with her child; foster mom was supporting her learning to care for her child so they could move together to a residential setting designed for teen moms.

When the caseworker delivered the gifts, she handed her the gift card and the young woman started to cry. She wasn’t upset. It seems that a few days earlier she had been in that exact drug store and saw a little Elmo toy that her child would love. But she had no spending money and didn’t want to ask since the baby was receiving gifts. So she ran down the street then and there to buy the Elmo and be able to give her child a gift with her own resources.

Everyone in the church was sobbing, including the man who had donated the card. And they continued to support our youth at the holidays and by volunteering throughout the year.

This is a true story. It does not involve LGBTQ teens, but it does show how you just never know what impact you might have. And it shows the importance of investing in our young people. It didn’t matter that the baby had the Elmo, it did matter that Mom was able to give her child a gift she selected herself. And it mattered that the man had taken the time to buy a gift when he could have just turned away.

LGBTQ Gift Cards

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