The aspect of my job that I love most is the opportunity to connect with Pride Foundation donors and volunteers. Every week, I meet with people that are proud to commit to our shared vision of LGBTQ equality.
For Ginny Furshong, that commitment has been nine years strong. Ginny first began volunteering for Pride Foundation in 2005. She has served on the Leadership Action Team in Montana, and volunteers for Scholarship and Grant review cycles on a regular basis.
Ginny has strong roots in Big Sky country. Her mother grew up in small towns across Montana, and Ginny has lived in the state since she graduated from high school. Her current home is Helena, where she lives with her husband of 14 years and their 11 year old daughter.
A passionate public health professional, Ginny currently works in chronic disease prevention and control at the Montana Public Health Department. For her, public health policy change allows her to positively impact the health of large populations of people, what she calls, “a big bang for a buck.”
Over the years that Ginny has supported Pride Foundation’s work, the LGBTQ community in Montana has seen numerous advances and challenges. She has been there through the ups and downs—donating her skills, talent, and dollars towards advancing LGBTQ equality.
Ultimately, Ginny wants to live and raise her daughter in a world where the LGBTQ community is no longer perceived as a separate group, and where everyone can live genuinely and equally. She has family, friends, and coworkers in the Montana community, and it is important to her that everyone has equal rights.
While Ginny has enjoyed all aspects of her work with Pride Foundation, she particularly loves volunteering on the scholarship review team, and is honored to assist students in reaching their full potential. Many years after volunteering on a scholarship review team, she was speaking of the positive experience to one of her colleagues. Her colleague got excited and shared that her brother had received a scholarship from Pride Foundation in the past. Ginny remarked, “I have always been proud to be a volunteer for Pride Foundation, but when I met someone whose family member had directly felt the impact of our work my heart was about to explode!”
Ginny strives to be a strong ally with the LGBTQ community and inspire others to stand up and stand together. She continues to invest in Pride Foundation financially because she knows her donations directly impact the LGBTQ community in Montana.
“I believe in the connectedness and communication that comes back to me as a supporter,” Ginny said, “and I know that my donations are being put to good use.”
Thank you to Ginny and all our wonderful donors and volunteers in Montana. I feel inspired every day by the passion and enthusiasm that Pride Foundation supporters bring to our work. With your support, we are building a powerful regional movement—one that is being watched and replicated nationwide. We couldn’t do it without you.
Kim Leighton is Pride Foundation’s regional development organizer in Montana. Email Kim.