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5 LGBTQ+ Charities Worth a Holiday Donation

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Between picking out holiday gifts for your besties and eyeing some new treats for yourself, wading through your options of charitable organizations to donate to can feel overwhelming. If you’re feeling charitable this holiday season and you want to support some awesome LGBTQ+ charities, look no further! Whether you’re passionate about marriage equality, fighting against bullying or positive portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters in the media, you’ll find a charity in this list that’s definitely worth supporting.

1. Human Rights Campaign

We’re sure you’ve seen the blue stickers with the yellow equals sign on computers or water bottles around campus. That logo represents the Human Rights Campaign, an organization focused on increasing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. The HRC had a big impact in raising support and awareness around the Supreme Court ruling of United States v. Windsor on June 26, 2013, which ruled a significant portion of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. In the weeks before the Supreme Court announced its decision, the HRC swapped its traditional blue and yellow logo to red and pink in order to stimulate a nationwide conversation about marriage equality.

The HRC is the largest civil rights organization in the United States working on gaining equality for LGBTQ+ Americans. Wondering if it’s the right charity for you? The donations go toward supporting various HRC programs, such as HRC’s All Children - All Families Project, which works toward improving LGBTQ+ adoption and foster care practices. Another great program under the HRC is The Coming Out Project, which provides resources to LGBTQ+ people to prepare them to come out to their families. If you want to donate, see their website.

2. The Trevor Project  

 

The Trevor Project is an organization that focuses on crisis management and suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. They have a 24-hour hotline called the Trevor Lifeline that people in crisis can call to be connected with trained counselors. The organization was founded in 1998 and has assisted hundreds of thousands of young people in crisis.

Donations are used to provide online training to teachers and faculty members to assist struggling LGBTQ+ students.  In addition, the Trevor Project uses funds to support its website, which provides many resources for troubled LGBTQ+ young people and their allies, such as lists of suicide warning signs to be on the lookout for and ways to get involved in their new PSA campaign. The focus of the latest campaign is Ask For Help; it encourages young people to reach out, no matter what is troubling them.

LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt to commit suicide than their straight peers, and making a donation to The Trevor Project could make a real difference in addressing this issue. If you’re interested, check out their donations page.

3. GLAAD

GLAAD is primarily responsible for the more inclusive gender options on Facebook and for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade allowing LGBTQ+ organizations to march under their own banner for the first time in 2015. They also publish a Studio Responsibility Index and a Network Responsibility Index every year, which rank movie and television portrayals of LGBTQ+ people in order to make it clear who is doing well and where more work is needed. Money donated to GLAAD goes to support their many initiatives revolving around raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, is passionate about the work GLAAD performs, describing the organization’s mission as being “a cultural change agent for the LGBT community” and saying that GLAAD “works in the court of public opinion, changing the hearts and minds.” No small task.

Ellis encourages those wanting to support GLAAD who may not have the means to make a monetary donation (and even those who do) to volunteer in their own communities by phone banking, helping out at a GLAAD event or just wearing purple on their Spirit Day in October to show support for bullied LGBTQ+ youth. A great way to keep up with GLAAD initiatives is to follow GLAAD on Facebook or Twitter. You can support this worthy organization here.

4. Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal is a civil rights organization working for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Lambda Legal focuses more on the legal aspects of this fight by trying to make public policy changes and impact litigation. They are continually working on finding and arguing cases at all levels of the judicial system. Lambda Legal has had numerous successes recently, including their efforts in South Carolina to overcome the South Carolina attorney general’s efforts to delay implementation of same-sex marriage.

To support Lambda Legal, you can volunteer at one of their many pride events or help out with fundraising and community education. Financial donations go toward supporting the many legal cases Lambda Legal fights, which is crucial since they don’t charge any of the plaintiffs they support and receive no government funding. If you’re interested in donating, go to their website.

5. It Gets Better Project

Chances are you’ve seen at least one touching video from the It Gets Better Project, which communicates to LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling with bullying that life continues to get better. Though the It Gets Better book and YouTube videos featuring regular people and celebrities, young people can feel supported not only by thousands of strangers telling them stories, but also familiar faces from politicians like President Obama and Hillary Clinton to actors like Anne Hathaway and Jane Lynch.

There several ways to donate to the It Gets Better Project. One of the most impactful ways is to make an It Gets Better video of your own. Sharing your story is an amazing way to support the organization and the thousands of young people struggling across the country. Another great way to contribute to the It Gets Better Project is by donating $25, which funds a copy of the It Gets Better book for your school or local library. Both of these options are immediate ways you can spread this important message and really see the difference you are making. For the full list of ways to support the It Gets Better Project, check out their action center.

There are countless LGBTQ+ organizations doing truly amazing work to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people of all ages and stages of life. Whether it’s the anti-bullying support provided by The Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Project, the fight for same-sex marriage supported by the HRC and Lambda Legal or the goal of changing hearts and minds through media portrayals of LGBTQ+ people, the life-changing work of these organizations is truly worthy of your support. We know you’re busy planning holiday parties and getting through finals, but if you have a minute, check out a few of these websites. Read about the triumphs and setbacks, the incredible progress made and the battles yet to be fought, and please think about contributing to the fight for equality and respect for all people. 


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