So here we are again, the holidays upon us, and I hope they will be happy indeed for you and your loved ones. There’s something special about this time of year for most of us, but the holidays won’t be happy for everyone.
There won’t be any gifts or good cheer or time spent with family, friends and loved ones for all the homeless and runaway boys and girls on the streets this holiday season, Many will be out in the cold day and night struggling to survive.
The good news is you can help!
Every year since I started posting my stories online for free I’ve tried to encourage my readers to make a special effort at this time of year to help those who face a very difficult and uncertain future.
I realize everyone has favorite charities they like to support, but most of you are gay after all. I assume you know at some level that many of the boys and girls in the United States and around the globe who run away and are homeless are also members of the LGBTQ community.
They’re your younger brothers and sisters and they need help, but the help needs to come from people like you and me. So I’m asking you to take a moment out of your busy holiday schedule this year to get involved and make a difference for some kids you know nothing about.
They run away or are homeless for many reasons, including parental rejection and worse. They can be found everywhere, but usually end up living in the shadows; hidden, out of sight and usually out of mind as well. And I’m ashamed to say too many of us who are members of the same community are not doing enough to help them.
There are all kinds of organizations you can contribute to that work with these kids. Some are national in scope like The Trevor Project, StandUp For Kids, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the GLBT National Help Center, the National Runaway Safeline, and the True Colors Fund. All do good work.
But if you’re looking for something closer to home, there are many local organizations as well. They include The Home for Little Wanderers based in Boston, the Ali Forney Center in New York, Avenues for Homeless Youth in Minnesota, Covenant House with multiple locations throughout Canada, the United States, and Latin America, and Boys Town, which also has multiple locations across the United States.
There are many others as well. Here in the United States you can go to a site like Charity Navigator or GLBT Near Me and enter homeless, student, youth, runaway, LGBT, or even your zip code as keywords.
You’ll be sure to find some organization near you worth helping. Once you have, you can often contribute anonymously through an organization like the Network for Good if you want to avoid being asked for additional donations in the future.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Click on that email button above and ask me. I’ll do my best to help you find what you’re looking for.
Many of you live abroad, of course, but my guess is the problem exists in your country as well; and while I may not know the specific charities in your country worth supporting, you do or can probably find out by asking around.
I know I have readers in Canada and the United Kingdom; France, the Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, I have them in Latin America and the Caribbean; in Australia, New Zealand and much of Asia. And I have them in many other countries around the globe as well.
Please help me out by posting a comment below with a link to a charity you would recommend that helps young men and women in need. They don’t even have to service just gay youth. Not all runaway and homeless boys and girls are gay, but all of them do need help.
And you don’t even have to give me a name or an e-mail address to do this. You can remain completely anonymous if you wish and just provide a link to a web site. I’ll check them out and pass them along if they seem legitimate.
Whatever you do, please don’t just read these words and quickly move on to something else. Show the love! Get involved! Make a difference!
And please do it now while the memory is still fresh.