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Aug 16, 2018

Without you, our summer happenings wouldn't happen

last year's Queer Academy campers
last year's Queer Academy campers

Summer is a busy time at True Colors and ALL of our summer activities are made possible by the support of donors like YOU!

Queer Academy started on July 9th.  Becuase of your donations, we are able to offer the program totally free for participants.  Youth explore their own identities and the world around them.  They learn about themselves and they learn about the LGBTQ community that they are a part of.  Guest speakers, activities, field trips, art projects, spoken word, videos and discussion all packed into 4 days a week for 6 weeks.  Young people's lives are changed during this program. Andy couldn't make eye contact with other people at the beginning of last summer - but the end, she was calling folks over to hear about her project during the final Presentation of Learning.  She even performed her own original spoken word piece on stage at Draguation.

This year's presentation of Learning is Friday, August 17th from noon to 3:00 PM at the EcoSpace, 224 Farmington Ave in Hartford. Draguation is Sunday, August 19th, at 6:00 PM at TheaterWorks in Hartford.  I can't wait to see the transformation this year's program has nurtured.  We hope you can join us at either or both events - they are free and they are a GREAT opportunity to witness first hand the difference YOUR support makes in the lives of LGBTQ youth across CT. 

In addition to Queer Academy, we hosted two community potlucks, a game night, a community conversation and more. 

You make what we do possible. And we are so very grateful!

one of our many QA guest speakers
one of our many QA guest speakers
Draguation invitation
Draguation invitation
This year's campers
This year's campers
Jul 13, 2018

Some of what you make possible: Second Quarter, 2018

Your support, and the support of people like you, make our work possible. In 2017, True Colors directly touched more than 10,000 lives with 5 staff, some interns and a bunch of volunteers.  One of our funders once told me that, "True Colors squeezes a nickel so hard, it leaves buffalo prints in your palms!"  I took that to mean that they recognized us as good stewards of their dollars.  That means a lot.

The work we do depends upon the charity of others - people just like you, who care about LGBTQ youth and want to make a difference.  We are committed to using your donations wisely.

You've heard the stories of the youth whose lives your support has helped change. Like, Jay, who came to us as an angry 11 year old child in and out of hospitals for agression and depression.  With the help of True Colors and, in particular, with the support of his dedicated, firm and loving mentors, Jay graduated from high school earlier this month and is attending college in the fall.  Because of the financial support of our donors, Jay's mentors changed the trajectory of his life.

That is a magnificant story.  And donors made it happen.  This month, as I sat here paying bills, I realized that donors make the mundane possible too.  Let's look at the impact of a 5,000 donation for example. 

That donation buys:

  •  A whole year of mentoring for 4 different youth in out-of-home care; LGBTQ kids who have been rejected by their family of origin and now live in group homes or shelters or foster homes.
  • Two out of 6 weeks of our free summer Queer Academy which is solely supported by donor dollars.  Queer Academy where kids like "Andrea" transform from too shy to speak or make eye-contact to a young woman who performed her story on stage during Draguation.

Magnificent, right?  The mundane costs money too.  That $5,000 also buys:

  • 36 days of rent or

  • 38 days of health care for a dedicated and passionate staff or

  • 80% of our utilities for the year or

  • 61 out of 150 pages of our annual youth and adult resource guides (which are provided for free to over 7,000 youth and adults across CT)

It is hard to believe what is costs to make such a difference in the quality of life for LGBTQ youth.  It is even harder to imagine the costs of not doing it, though, isn't it?

Please know that we know how much you matter and what a difference you make.  We are very, very grateful. 

Hope night panel
Hope night panel
GSA visit
GSA visit

Links:

May 18, 2018

Beyond that single story

Fierce and Beautiful!
Fierce and Beautiful!

When we say, "LGBTQ youth in out-of-home care", what adjectives come to your mind?  Sad?Lonely? Rejected? Needy? Words that focus on the their 'problems', 'issues' and 'concerns'?  If so, you are not alone.  We often go straight to the single story of loss, trauma and rejection. But...

We aksed our kids to come up with 5 words they would use to describe themselves.

Here's what they said: "Funny. Creative. Snarky. Smart. Fierce. Beautiful. Passionate.  Queer. Sarcastic (but in a good way). Feel the difference?  Adults tend to focus their problems.  Kids tend to focus on their strengths and who they ARE.

YOU and your support helps us focus on their strengths as well.

Did you know that the funding for the mentoring program provided by the state only covers a portion of the costs? The rest?  It comes form people like YOU. Donors and supporters who see beyond the problem to the beautifu, creative, passionate, fierce and funny kids who make up the mentoring program. 

Yes.  Our kids have been rejected by their families of origin. Yes. They have experienced trauma, neglect and abuse.  But you help us see them for who they ARE, not just what has happened to them.

And we are very grateful.  Thank you.

Funny, snarky and creative
Funny, snarky and creative
 
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