Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving As Giving: Recommending to You Today a Local Group Supporting LGBT Youth

You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be (Deuteronomy 15:8)

For those celebrating a holiday centered on thanksgiving today (and I realize that much of the world isn't in that category), here's a story that may be of some interest — since giving thanks is about giving first and foremost. It's by giving to others that we open the spaces in our hearts and lives that enable us to be thankful, it seems to me.

As the link I've just provided to an article by Max Brantley, a local journalist, indicates, columnist Dan Savage has decided to help raise funds for a program assisting homeless LGBT youth in my home city of Little Rock, Lucie's Place. He and others are doing this to respond to the decision of the Duggar family to put its weight (and money) behind a drive to overturn an ordinance in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the home of our state university, which protects LGBT citizens of the city from discrimination. The Duggars have given $10,000 to this cause.

So Dan Savage and Max Brantley and others are suggesting that, in response, donors consider giving to Lucie's Place. The dream of the folks who run this organization is to be able to open a shelter to provide much-needed housing for homeless LGBT youth in our community. Since Savage and Brantley and others began promoting this cause yesterday in response to the Duggars's $10,000 donation to knock down an anti-discrimination ordinance in Fayetteville, donations to support the shelter have gone — in a single day — from $1,000 to $15,000. And counting . . . . 

I made a donation after reading Max Brantley's article last evening. Rachel recently asked how readers of this blog might honor the friend Steve and I lost recently, Steve Thomas. I can think of few ways I'd rather honor my friend Steve than by giving to Lucie's Place. LGBT youth living on the streets often have grim lives, and that's all the more the case in smaller cities like mine that lack strong support networks fort these teens, many of whom have been expelled from their families and homes.

The Lucie's Place website is here. It has a donation button at the top right-hand corner of the page. Though the donation form doesn't allow you to designate someone in whose memory you're donating, I made my donation last evening in honor of my friend Steve, and will notify his surviving husband Allan that I did so. 

I don't mean to exclude the rest of the world that is not celebrating an official holiday of thanksgiving today, as I recommend this cause. Every day is surely a day on which it's good for any of us to give, and to be thankful. I also thought many readers might find this story interesting because it illustrates, once again, the extraordinary generosity of so many people combatting the oppression of LGBT human beings around the world.

Extraordinary generosity for which I give heartfelt thanks . . . . 

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