During the last quarter of the year, people's thoughts turn to the holidays and this "Currier and Ives" images of happy families, great get-togethers, lovely times. The picture of how 'life is supposed to be' is so clear that even those of us with happy families, great get-togethers and happy times can feel a little let down when the reality doesn't quite live up to the hype.
Now imagine you are 13 or 15 and live in 'out-of-home' care like foster care or a group home or a shelter... Imagine further that you live there because your family rejected or abused you because of you were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender... The Holidays can be hell.
But, because of the support of people like you, we are able to help youth create new memories during these difficult months. Several years ago, we launched a 4th quarter project called, "Donate a Memory". Instead of money, people donate experiences! This past year, for example, people donated tickets to live theater, movies, museums, trampoline parks, skating, restaurants and other new and interesting places. We then gave the tickets to mentors and mentees for paired and group activities. In each case, the mentee gets to spend time with someone who cares about them and have a fun and exciting new experience. We can't replace their families or change what has happened to them in the past. But, because of people like you, we can give them some new memories to treasure. And maybe next year, when the holidays come around, they will have some Currier and Ives of their own.
We couldn't do any of this without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And Happy New Year!