Today starts the annual Giving Tuesday tradition in a year unlike any other. This day also happens to fall on World AIDS day this year. 2020 has been a lot! For many of us, our mental health and our financial health have taken significant hits, and we have had to tap deep into our own resilience to try and navigate this pandemic as best as we can. And while this is true for everyone, this is especialy the case for our LGBTQ+ and HIV community members.
While we are finding ways to navigate this current pandemic let us not forget on this day how our systems did not and often still do not show up for those we have lost and remember today, those living with HIV, and the legacy of a failure to respond to our communities to address a health crisis. We have much work to do to create equitable systems rooted in justice that do not disproportionally impact our communities, especially Queer and Trans People of Color. Let us all commit during this season of giving to work toward removing structural barriers as well as stigma to fight against HIV and support those who are living with HIV. Our organization was founded in memory of “Huey”, who lost his battle with HIV. Today we remember all those we have lost and firmly commit to improving the health of our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities. We will continue to work each and every day to create spaces and opportunities for LGBTQ+ and HIV community members to be their authentic, courageous selves.
I am so proud of the work of our team during this year. We leaned in at a time when many other resources were closing to make sure our LGBTQ+ and HIV communities got what they needed. We quickly adapted all of our services and even launched new programs to address gaps and meet emerging needs. Check out our website and our #GivingTuesday profile to learn more about all the ways we’ve helped this year.
While we know many of you are not able to give as you normally could, we want to encourage those of you who can to please do so today. Your gift goes further today with matches from Facebook, Foundations, and the Hugh Lane Board of Directors.
Help us make sure every person who reaches out for assistance this holiday season is able to get what they need. Whether that’s a winter holiday meal, to build community at one of our events, to recieve PPE kits with blankets and handwarmers, or to help an LGBTQ+ young person or senior recieve a needed gift this season from our virtual giving tree. Every dollar you donate will go directly toward supporting our holiday outreach.
Please consider making a donation today. ANY amount helps!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11th, 2020
Contact: Sarah Rosso Phone: (412) 973-5053
B.E.S.T.I.E.E. PROJECT for LGBTQIA+ YOUTH ACROSS WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
(Pittsburgh)–Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the B.E.S.T.I.E.E. Project. Building Equitable Solutions to Improve Emotional Environments. This new three-year project began October 1st, 2020 to support LGBTQIA+ youth across the commonwealth.
Prior to COVID-19, queer youth were at higher risk than their heterosexual peers for depression, anxiety, suicide, and other serious mental health issues. The closure of schools, forced isolation with unsupportive adults, and lack of access to affirming community resources has only made managing stressors more difficult. It is important that LGBTQIA+ youth know where to find support within the community.
B.E.S.T.I.E.E. project will provide supportive strategies and solutions to address suicide, substance use, sexual health and overall wellbeing for LGBTQIA+ youth across Western Pennsylvania. We will be collaborating with a variety of local and regional organizations along with our project partners in Erie, Beaver and Washington Counties.
Today, National Coming Out Day, many LGBTQ+ youth will come out to their friends and family. Inviting folks to celebrate their authenticity and individuality. While some will be accepted others will face rejections. It is important that LGBTQ+ youth know that they are valid despite what others may say.
“We are dedicated to creating inclusive and accessible mental health support for youth, one that decreases suicidal planning and action through social connectedness and meeting their physical, mental, and sexual health needs. As a community, it is imperative that we work together and help LGBTQ+ youth build a life worth living.”
Coley Alston, MPH, CPH Program Director at the foundation.
For more information email: email@example.com or call: (412)-973-5053
Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ and HIV communities across western Pennsylvania.
During this unprecedented time, we have seen an 800% increase in requests and have adapted our services to meet the needs of our LGBTQ and HIV community members. We need your help to continue our COVID-19 emergency response for the remainder of 2020 to assure that all our community members have access to food and can stay connected by maintaining their cell phone service. Check out our #GivingTuesday page with Give Big Pittsburgh. You can also read client testimonials and contribute online through our donate page. https://www.givebigpittsburgh.com/organizations/hugh-lane-wellness-foundation
Our COVID Emergency support is available to all of our LGBTQ+ and HIV community members simply by reaching out to us or one of the many organizations collaborating with us during this time. Check out our COVID-19 page for more information on how we’re supporting our community.