If you’ve ever wondered just how much of a difference a Pride Foundation grant makes, look no further than our Community Fund grantee organizations. From the reports that last year’s grantees have submitted, we are learning a lot about the ways our investments are effecting change in our community. To start, there’s no questioning the passion and dedication reflected in the programs, and the progress made for LGBTQ youth, adults, and families across the region.
Just ask Flathead Reservation Human Rights Coalition, Inc. in Montana. Their goals were to train 30-50 people through their “Creating Inclusive Schools and Communities” workshop and increase overall support for the Hate-Free Zone Project. In total, they surpassed their goals—collecting 587 signatures; involving 14 businesses, six school districts, three city councils and police departments, five churches, [and] five civic groups. With two trainings, they reached a total of 60 new people. Participants reported feeling more optimistic about being able to actually suggest and follow through with ways to lessen bullying, racism, and biased remarks without shaming, blaming, or isolating others. All of this with just one grant from Pride Foundation.
Still not convinced? Here is some exciting news from Anchorage Youth Development Coalition. Their goal was to launch an LGBTQ Youth Leadership Internship program. Through this program, the interns went on to train “over 90 adult youth workers representing over 30 local agencies. Over 94 percent of trainees strongly agreed they felt more confident working and volunteering with LGBTQ youth after they received this training, 98 percent expressed they learned about new resources and 97 percent would recommend this training to others.”
The ripple effects of our investment in these projects and organizations are felt in the hearts of these participants, and in time, we’ll see that change manifests itself even more. Whether it’s through working with youth, or providing access to transportation, grants from Pride Foundation elevate the lives of LGBTQ people and their allies across the region.
In Oregon, the Lotus Rising Project requested funding to support their Not Straight Not Sure (NSNS) group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and young adults. Because of Pride Foundation’s support, the group was able to secure their own community space and now can provide consistent twice a month meetings and as well as other events for young people living in rural southern Oregon.
The Gay-Straight Alliance at North Idaho College (NIC) wanted to send a contingent of LGBTQ and ally students along with one faculty adviser to the 2013 Power of One—a Northwest student leadership conference designed to encourage and empower LGBTQQ college students, their allies, and the faculty and staff who support them. Because of Pride Foundation’s grant, they were able to attend the conference, and they came back motivated and encouraged to make change at their college with the new skills and resources they gained.
Here in Seattle, a grant to Rosehedge/Multifaith Works funded monthly bus passes to residents who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get around the city. One particular story sticks out: “[One of our residents] who is dealing with Parkinson’s Disease regularly uses his bus pass to travel to the YMCA to swim and lift weights, both activities that combat the physical effects of the condition.”
These stories remind us that each investment, each grant awarded, brings us one step closer to our vision in which all LGBTQ youth, adults, and families enjoy the freedom to live safely, openly, and genuinely. We hope you are as excited as we are to see how all of this hard work is transforming our community.
In just a few short weeks Pride Foundation will be announcing our 2014 Pride Foundation Community Grant awards. So keep a look out for our next wave of change making grantees.
Skye Newkirk is a University of Washington MSW Intern supporting Pride Foundation’s programs. Email Skye.