A viral fundraiser started last week, to support a pizza shop in Indiana, that closed its doors after saying they would not serve gays for their weddings. The comments came after the signing of the RFRA laws in Indiana, that would allow a business to turn away people for being LGBT, based on that business’ religious beliefs. That particular campaign was able to raise over $840,000 in only a few days, much to the disgust and consternation of a number of individuals who support LGBT rights. In response to the campaign to raise money in support of the pizza shop, a fundraiser has been started on GoFundMe to help homeless LGBT youth.
The campaign was started by Scott Wooledge, not only in response to the pizza shop fundraiser, but also in response to those individuals who say that they wish their organization could raise that kind of money so fast. Wooledge believes that it is possible, and wants to see what can happen if a campaign is started to support homeless LGBT youth. Not only was a fundraising campaign started, but also a campaign webpage to get the challenge out there, a challenge to raise money for positive change.
All donations from this effort, known as #pizza4equality, will be given to the True Colors Fund from Cyndi Lauper. The fundraiser which was started in response to the pizza campaign, will benefit the first ever #40tononeday which is an attempt to end homelessness amongst gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual youth. The organization hopes to help young people going through difficult times, know that they can be their true selves.
Lauper founded her organization, True Colors Fund, as a way to lend a hand and encourage straight individuals to gain awareness about equality. In particular, her goal is to help young people who are already having to deal with coming to terms with their sexual identity and orientation, and who then must deal with being told that what they are going through is somehow shameful or wrong. These same youth are often kicked out of their homes, after being rejected for being who they are.
As part of the Forty to None Project, the True Colors Fund is hoping to raise further awareness for the struggles of the homeless LGBT youth across the country. In the United States, the current estimate of homeless youth is between 500,000 and an astonishing 1.6 million each year. Of those young people who are homeless, approximately 40 percent identify as transgender or gay. Lauper and her organization are making strides to advocate awareness in an effort to end homelessness amongst the youth. The organization’s belief is that no young person should be without a home, especially because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
The fundraiser on GoFundMe, which was started to help raise money for homeless LGBT youth in response to the pizza campaign, is now helping to raise awareness about Lauper’s mission and organization. In just two days of the campaign, there have been over 950 supporters. The current goal is $842,600, the same amount as was raised for the pizza shop. As of two days in, the fundraiser has raised over $36,000. The GoFundMe campaign runs through April 29, when the #40tononeday kicks off.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by Mktp – Flickr License