Saturday, April 18, 2015

#LGBTQ Push Back #Charity #Giveaway






It started when my sister Sarah overheard me talking to my boyfriend on the phone. That afternoon, under the football stadium bleachers, Jonathan and I had our first kiss, and I told him how much I liked it, how I wanted to do it again. I didn’t notice the click of another phone in the house being picked up, but I sure heard it when my parents yelled my full name.


“Elijah Michael Goodman, come here right this second!”


“I gotta go,” I whispered to Jonathan, and hung up before he could say anything. My heart was in my throat as I went downstairs to the living room to see my mother and father standing there, looking for all the world like they’d swallowed lemons.


“Who were you on the phone with?” Dad asked.
 

“Jonathan,” I answered truthfully. They thought he was my best friend. “Why?”


“What were you talking about?” Mom demanded, her voice shaking.


I squirmed and did the only thing I could with no time to think. I lied. “A test in Algebra tomorrow.”


“That’s not what Sarah heard,” Dad challenged, eyes flashing.


Oh shit, I thought, but would never say out loud. My parents would tan my hide if I swore in front of them, then take me to confession.


My silence made them angrier. Dad’s face turned red. “She said you kissed Jonathan.”


There was no way to refute that. I wasn’t a good liar. All I could do was take a deep breath and nod, hoping they’d see the pleading in my eyes.


“Are you gay?” Mom demanded. Another nod.


The rest is a blur. My mother began screaming about my soul and salvation, and they wouldn’t listen when I tried to tell them I tried not to be interested in guys, but it was impossible. My dad went quiet, which was scarier than if he’d yelled, or even taken out the belt.


Roughly grabbing my arm, he marched me up to my room, got out a duffel bag, and threw three changes of clothes in it, grabbed my deodorant from the top of the dresser, and shoved my shoes at my chest. Then he dragged me back downstairs, twisting my ankle in the process, and threw me out the front door, the duffel landing beside me on the dry, brown lawn.


“Don’t come back. You’re not our son anymore.”


My heart, having never left my throat, exploded, taking with it my ability to breathe. What did he mean? Don’t come back, ever?


That’s how it started. By the time I’d walked to Jonathan’s, my parents—no, Mr. and Mrs. Goodman—had already called his parents, and his mother met me at the door with crossed arms and a stern expression, telling me Jonathan wasn’t home, and that he wasn’t allowed to see me. As I’d walked away shivering, tears stinging my cheeks in the cold November air, I’d looked back. Jonathan was at his bedroom window, holding an ice pack to his eye and looking miserable. He gave a tentative wave, which I returned.


I had no choice. I had no money. I didn’t have my coat. No phone. And no one to call anyway.


That first night, I slept in the doorway of a shop downtown. Maybe I could shovel driveways for money when the snows hit. I didn’t think anyone would hire a fourteen year old to work as a busboy or store clerk. I’d been trying to talk my mother, I mean Amanda, into letting me get a job, but she’d just kept telling me to be a kid as long as I could, that I was too young to get a job in Indiana anyway.


For two days, I went up and down the stores on Main Street, but no one needed help, and the ones that did said I needed a work permit. To get one, I needed my birth certificate to prove my age. I couldn’t get it without my guardians’ help, and I had no guardians.


By day three, I was so hungry, I gave my first blowjob for twenty bucks. The guy was a trucker at the local diner, and the cab of his rig smelled like B.O. When he was done, he patted my head like I was a good boy. My face burned with shame. Hating myself, I tried not to cry when I walked to the Goodwill store to buy a coat with my dirty money. That left me five dollars to get something to eat.


In a way, that first week was hard, but also easy. I still looked like a normal kid, if a little dingy around the edges. People still served me if I had the money to pay. No one said I couldn’t loiter. The hard part was when I stopped trying to survive long enough to think about my dad’s—George’s—last words to me. You’re not our son anymore. I ached at those words.


A couple weeks later, I saw Sarah coming out of the stationery store with her friends. Her eyes got huge when she saw me, but she didn’t speak or wave. Didn’t tell me if my—her—parents regretted what they’d done. She did, however, look back at me one more time before they got on their bikes and rode off. Her face was wet.


After that, I walked by what used to be my home. Maybe Sarah would help me. Maybe she could get my birth certificate. The next time I saw her, she pretended I wasn’t there.


For months, I ghosted around town, trying to stay away from cops, who’d realized I wasn’t just some kid, and that I was up to no good. I tried to keep going to school, but I didn’t have my backpack or my books or my school supplies, and the lunch ladies wouldn’t give me food without my account being paid up.


It was the day I saw my face on a Missing Person’s poster outside the local diner that I met Brandon. I started to retreat, but he spoke, and his voice didn’t carry the disdain I’d become used to.


“They do that, sometimes,” he said, standing next to me as I stared at the smiling kid I’d once been. “Parents will tell the truancy officers you’re a runaway so they get out of trouble when you drop out of school too young. How old is that picture?”


“Three years.”


He nodded sagely. “You’re what, fourteen, fifteen?”


“Fifteen,” My birthday was a month ago. I’d celebrated by doing three blowjobs in one night, then buying myself a new pair of shoes because the ones I’d been wearing had pinched my growing feet. Sucking guys off for money was the only work I could get. I had what they called “cocksucker lips” and as sick as it made me, I used them to my full advantage.


“Puberty changes you enough no one will recognize you even if they look at the photos on the notice boards,” Brandon continued.


“How did you?” I asked suspiciously.


“The look on your face.” He turned and stuck out his hand. “Nice to meet you, Elijah Goodman. I’m Brandon Maxwell.”


I didn’t shake his hand immediately. What does he want? He wasn’t bad looking, and frankly, he smelled a lot better than my last customer.


He chuckled and gripped my wrist with one hand, then closed his fingers over my palm with the other, pumping it twice. “Have you eaten?”


Not since I’d scavenged some soggy tacos from the trash behind a fast food restaurant two nights ago. The last one was lunch the day before. “It’s been a few hours.”


“Come on.” He led me into the diner, and the waitress who’d thrown me out last week started to yell again, until Brandon shut her down with a look. We sat in a cracked vinyl booth and he passed the laminated menu over. “Order as much as you want.”


There had to be a catch, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to fill my belly. I’d grown a few inches since the day of the First Kiss Phone Call, and I was always hungry, and conscious of my wrists and ankles protruding from my clothes. Ordering a burger, two chili cheese dogs, fries, a Coke, and a piece of pie, I barely spoke as Brandon talked, telling me about the shelter he and his partner ran for kids like me.


I was one of the lucky ones, finding help after only months on the streets. I hadn’t resorted to riskier behavior for money. I hadn’t been attacked, though many of the street kids I knew had been. I hadn’t gotten pneumonia or hypothermia during that long winter, and when Brandon found me, there was a bed available right away.


I will never forget the pillow beneath my head the night he brought me to the shelter. The comfort of blankets. How warm felt. Sleeping without worry of being jumped. I knew what I had lost, but not how to get it back. All because of a phone call about my first kiss, and the Goodmans’ conviction I was an abomination.


Thanks to Brandon, in the three years since being tossed out of my home for being gay, I’m back on track. Got my GED and my important papers. In a few months, I start college. Thanks to the generosity of kindhearted donors to Brandon’s shelter, who accept LGBT people as human beings, I survived.

While Elijah’s story is fiction, here are some facts. LGBT people make up less than 10% of the overall population, yet 40% of homeless kids in the U.S. identify as LGBT. Of them, 68% cited family rejection for the reason they were on the streets. Studies have repeatedly shown that homeless LGBT kids are more at risk of being attacked, robbed, and raped than their heterosexual counterparts, more likely to engage in prostitution or survival sex, more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol, and more likely to attempt or commit suicide. Despite this, less than 25% of homeless shelters cater for or specifically target LGBT kids, leaving them at the mercy of individual organizations who can pick and choose who they help and who they abandon on the streets. Laws such as Indiana’s SB 101 enshrine the legality of refusing service—including such basic assistance as food and shelter—to people specifically because they’re LGBT.

This isn’t about pizza. This is about creating a climate in which LGBT individuals feel isolated from and rejected by the rest of society. It’s about creating a climate in which parents feel justified for kicking their kids out on the street. It’s about cutting off any and all support networks which might otherwise be available to prevent kids from ending up on life’s scrapheap because of how they were born.



Want to read a happier ending?



Changing laws and attitudes takes time, and right now there are LGBT people in need who can’t afford to wait. The sooner we can help them, the better, and the more resources we have, the more help we can offer.

That’s why 224 authors, review bloggers, and publishers have got together to offer something wonderful: a reward for people who do a little bit to give back to charity. Instead of spending $5 on a book in the next two weeks, give that $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice, tell us about it in the comments, and go into the draw to win a book from one of our participating donors. And because it’s not all about money, if you can’t make a donation then please take a moment to share a charity’s links and tell us about that instead.



Three fundraisers have been set up to counter the hateful effects of Indiana’s SB 101. #Pizza4Equality is aiming to match the money raised by *that* pizza parlor, with all donations going to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Another fundraiser is aiming to raise $100,000 for Indiana Youth Group. Finally, Planting Peace is trying to raise $100,000 to provide beds for homeless LGBT people.



Please consider giving to one of these deserving fundraisers, or any other LGBT charity anywhere in the world. We’re not telling you where you should donate your time and money, only asking that you do. The smallest things can make the biggest difference, and together, we can do something incredible.


*First Kiss is a work of fiction copyright 2015 by AJ Rose and any resemblance to actual places or people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
 


Meet the 224 authors, bloggers, and publishers...
The Charity Giveaway will run from the 18th of April until the 1st of May. You will be contacted by your paired up author/giver. Remember to PLEASE check your spam. Due to the high volume of donations it can take a few days to hear. Please be patient. Thank you ALL for giving. Thank you to all the 224 Givers in this charity giveaway. 

It feels good to push back!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

195 comments:

  1. Blog set to post at 9am today :D

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    1. Yes. I ended up publishing it early when I saw people advertising it

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  2. Wonderful idea! I donated to Pizza4Equality. Thanks for doing this!

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  3. always give to st jude's..think it does wonderful things for children

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  4. I donated to Planting Peace this past week. I wanted to post this as well it is part of the email I received for donating.

    Planting Peace's Virtual Pizza Party Fundraising campaign.
    " In response to the anti-LGBTQ movement's Pizza Shop fundraiser - in true Planting Peace style, we took a negative story and turned into something positive. Together, we raised $75,000 to support homeless LGBTQ youth."

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    1. WOW! This is incredible! Thank you sooooooooooo much!

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    2. I do believe the amount has risen some, which is great

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  5. I don't have money to donate but i do have love. My kids are older now and ive spoken at length with my husband my ultimate dream is to be able to open a safehaven for these kids to come and have a safe environment to live while recieved a parental love and being shown that they arecnot wrong in who they love. Being bisexual ive been through that and it disgusts me how a parent can throw there child away like that. Eventually ill be able to raise enough money to open a place but until then were looking into fosterin i guess would be the word kids who are in that situation they need love and support and to be shown they are perfect in gods eyes.

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    1. Bless you and your family! our voices are powerful thank you for using yours!

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    2. That is so great. My best to you

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  6. I donated to #Pizza4Equality help homeless kids. I can't understand how any parent could throwing any child out of their own home.

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  7. I split my donation between Indiana Youth Group and a local LGBTQ charity, Lost-n-Found Youth (lnfy.org). Mega kudos to everyone involved in setting this up!

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  8. Replies
    1. and decided to donate to #Pizza4Equality as well

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  9. I donated to pizza 4 equality. I'll never understand someone who could just throw away a child

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  10. Coming from a country where discrimination based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion is against the law it infuriates me and breaks my heart to follow the news from the US and that many of my friends are potentially risking their lively hood, homes or the basic services just for who they are! It is morally and ethically wrong no matter how they (the bigots/haters) try to phrase it! Not to mention all the children/teens being tossed aside (or worse) by their hateful families! #EqualityforAll #Ally

    I've donated to #Pizza4equality, and whenever I buy ebooks from Amazon I buy via Smile.Amazon and donate to Lost'n'found.

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  11. I've donated to Youth in Need today and every pay period for my husband charitable donations are made to The Trevor Project and HRC.

    I also randomly donate to shelters throughout the year. This truly breaks my heart and I try to help around the US whenever I can.

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  12. I donated to all three charities in the memory of my aunt. She was a positive force in my life and I miss her very much.
    My hope as I support these charities is that one day they will no longer be neccesary. I don't know that I will live that long though.

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  13. I donated to the Planting Peace fundraiser, and shared this giveaway on my blog, FB pages, and the MMR group at Goodreads.

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  14. I haven't donated, as of yet, but I will. I have to do a little research on LGBT charities here in Louisiana, because I'm not sure who they are

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  15. I donated to the Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg, MB, my Canadian stomping grounds.

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  16. I gave money to the Attic in Philadelphia. https://www.atticyouthcenter.org/ They need a new kitchen.

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  17. I donated to Planting Peace last week. This is so important. I havr before also donated to The Trevor Project

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  18. I facebook shared all the links mentioned in the blog post. If I win anything you can contact me at rojoroaors@yahoo.com

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  19. My grandfather lived with MS for 42 years when he passed away and just a couple of years later, my oldest and dearest friend was diagnosed with it, so supporting the MS Society is very dear to me.

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  20. Made a donation to PC Children's Charities Canada

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  21. I used the Amazon wishlist from the Ali Forney Center in NYC for LGBT homeless youth to send socks and underwear.

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  22. Donated to the Trevor Project and will donate to #Pizza4equality this week :)

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  23. I donated to Pizza4Equality within the first couple of days of its existence. I've also donated to a couple more UK charities as well as the Trevor Project. I cannot comprehend any reason why parents would want to throw a child out of their home. If I could choose, I'd throw the parents away for being unkind and inconsiderate.

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  24. I donated to the Indiana Youth Group. ♡

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  25. I think this is a great idea. Unfortunately, financial problems has limited me, but will be making a donation soon to point foundation, http://www.pointfoundation.org/. Also will plan on donating to Pizza4Equality as well.

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    1. I have since donated $25 to each of the above charities in my name.

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  26. Would have been Planting Peace, but unfortunately no money available this month, as our family tried already to help out two families in need.

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  27. I usually support Lost-n-Found Youth but have donated to two of 'your' charities today. It's heart breaking there's such a need for them.

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  28. The sad fact I'd do many of our youth are doing on the streets, and if the general society won't take care of them, then it is up to the LGBTQ Community to come together to do something. Just as we all banned together when HIV/AIDS decimated our community, we must come together again to battle this.

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  29. I'm so proud to be included with such a great group of authors. I am donating to Avenues for Youth in Minneapolis. :)

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  30. We all know money is tight, especially for those in the US who just had to pay taxes.

    Remember, though, you can still enter for a shot at a book prize by sharing on your social media accounts to help us spread the word. Just don't forget to do the Rafflecopter thing so we can get your email to pass on to the author who gets your name.

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  31. I donated to the only French shelter dedicated to LGBTQ youth: "Le refuge". http://www.le-refuge.org/

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    1. Here is a short vid explaining what the charity does (subtitles in English)
      https://youtu.be/JZ6f9Qe1GCw

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  32. I donate to Out of Darkness Community it is Americans foundation for Suicide Prevention . Tragically I lost my nephew to suicide so this is my passion to raise
    Awareness and educate people about depression and how this can be prevented.

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  33. It's so wonderful to see so much generosity. Remember you can always share charity links and encourage others to do the same if money is tight. We've all been there. My go-to charities are Lost n Found in Atlanta, the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK, and last week I donated to Indiana Youth Group and the True Colors Fund.

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  34. This is a website that will help you find LGBT centers and centers in your area. I donated to Identity Inc in Anchorage. The only one in Alaska. http://www.lgbtcenters.org/Centers/find-a-center.aspx

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  35. I donate to Lambda Legal and Point Foundation at the end of every year because they get results and benefit the community.

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  36. I'm another one in the UK who donates to the Albert Kennedy Trust (http://www.akt.org.uk/) and as I've been on a book buying ban this year I've enough saved to make an extra donation this month in the name of this event.

    I am also knitting hats for a charity for homeless people in my city with a view to donating them at the end of the year.

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  37. I donated to pizza4equality. This is a beautiful thing that you're doing. Thank you!

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  38. OMG knitting hats for homeless people? WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT???

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    1. For those on Ravelry, there's a group that knits for the Ali Forney Center in NYC. http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ali-forney-center

      And Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit had a hat drive last year. http://www.ruthelliscenter.org/

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    2. AJ, haven't you seen that group that knits scarves and ties them to trees in urban areas with tags on them to take it if you need it? It's such a cool idea, only I'd stick them in Ziploc bags to keep dry.

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  39. Hope my small donation can help....

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  40. Made a donation to PC Children's Charities Canada

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  41. I donated to the Trevor Project.

    04/18/2015 10:12 AM (PT)
    The Trevor Project
    The following summarizes your contribution:
    Payment Amount: $41.00
    Reference ID: 179493870

    Here's the link if anybody else is interested.
    http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/make-a-gift

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    1. allesonl at gmail dot com

      I'm not sure if that's necessary or needed, but there it is, just in case.

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  42. I went a little bit off course and donated to Yes Equality in Ireland to support their efforts in securing a yes vote in the upcoming marriage equality referendum. But then again, maybe I didn't stray that far because, as former Irish President Mary McAleese said so eloquently:

    "It is a debate about children, people have been saying it’s about children - and we believe it to be about Ireland’s gay children and about their future and about the kind of future we want for Ireland. We want, in the words of the proclamation: ‘The children of a nation to be cherished equally’.

    “The adult children, the children yet unborn, the gay children yet unborn - we want them to be born into a world where if they fall in love with someone they can express that love fully,”

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  43. I gave to the #Pizza4Equality and Indiana Youth group and am looking for something local to give as well :)

    That story was sad and hopeful. No child should be turned from their home but if they are we should make sure they have a place to go!

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  44. Bought items off of the amazon list for Lost-n-Found Youth in Atlanta GA. They are also my smile.amazon charity and get a donation for every product I purchase from Amazon.

    The link is http://lnfy.org/

    I can be reached at catteibrie AT yahoo DOT com.

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  45. I donated to Planting Peace. Thank you for running this wonderful fundraiser and for the short story.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

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  46. I sponsor a guide dog puppy I have given this as a gift to my husband every time I renew because his mum was blind

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  47. My Master gives me a book allowance every month and I gave all what's left of it (almost the whole allowance) to Pizza4Equality. I'm in Austria and I'll donate for our local organizsation HOSI (http://www.hosiwien.at) too.

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  48. This campaign is a great idea! I gave to #Pizza4Equality. I had been meaning to do that, so thanks for making me get off my butt and finally donate!

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  49. I donated to Planting Peace. Every child deserves a bed to lay their head and feel safe.

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  50. If this comes up twice I'm sorry but me and technology don't mix. Especially today! I donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK. I loved my children before they were born and I will love them forever regardless of who they become. Anyone who disowns a child because of their sexual orientation does not deserve the title of parent. They have totally failed in their responsibilities. I just wish I could hug all those children and take them home with me. Just so they know that decent people do exist <3

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  51. Here are a handful of groups that work with homeless LGBT youth that I haven't seen mentioned in the comments so far:

    Ali Forney Center in NYC- http://www.aliforneycenter.org/
    Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit- http://www.ruthelliscenter.org/
    Trinity Place Shelter in NYC- http://www.trinityplaceshelter.org/
    Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco- http://larkinstreetyouth.org/
    Broadway Youth Center in Chicago- http://www.howardbrown.org/hb_services.asp?id=50

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  52. I donated to Pizza4Equality. It totally escapes me how parents throw their children away because of who they are or who they love.

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  53. I donated to Pizza4Equality, Planting Peace and the Cleveland LGBT center because they are trying to build a new center. Their fundraiser doesn't kick off until next month, but today seemed like a good day to chip in my little bit.
    http://www.lgbtcleveland.org/

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  54. I have setup Lost-n-Found Youth in Atlanta GA as my Amazon Smile charity so that all my purchases from there will give them a donation from now on. I will also be purchasing some items that they have on their wishlist for the organization later today. I have been retweeting the messages for this event and have the beautiful banner Meredith posted on my Facebook and Twitter page as well.

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    1. I'm glad you mentioned that Jen! I've had that set up for Lost n Found as well. There are a lot of charities available too if people are looking for something local to them and it's an easy way to give back.

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  55. Lucie's Place in Little Rock. I'm trying to donate local this year.

    http://www.luciesplace.org/about-lucies-place.html

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  56. I hope you don't mind but as I live in the UK I donated my fiver to Broken Rainbow even though it isn't primarily for LGBT Youth.
    Here's the information about what they do to help. http://www.brokenrainbow.org.uk/about-us/purpose

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  57. Shared on G+, twitter and Facebook earlier today. Just now donated to #PizzaforEquality. This is a great thing everyone is doing.

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  58. I donated to Pizza4Equality. It is heartbreaking to know kids are homeless and on their own for survival.
    cvsimpkins@msn.com

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  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  60. I donated to True Colors Fund. You are all doing such a wonderful thing! Thanks.

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  61. I've given to Pizza4Equality and issued a challenge to all my friends and church members to do the same. Thanks for doing this.

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  62. As I try to live on a fixed income. SSD, 100% disabled I don't have much money but I do have time. So I volunteer my time at a place for teenagers that are on their own. Many of them are from bad homes Gay and Straight. I do what I can. Like I will try and get some of the store's in my area to give sample size or travel size soaps,shampoo, toothbrushes ETC to the kids. Help with home work wash their clothes. What ever I can do to help because I know how hard it is to not have anything but most of all anyone who shows that their care without some kind of pay back no matter in what form. I just love the kids that have made it out of a shitty life and hope that they remember that I was there and I did not want anything from them. I just wanted them to make it out and up. Plus maybe when they are doing well that they remember to pay it forward. I do all this in the name of Love for me any anyone that will let me show them that they to deserve to have love in their lives. I know that If you can't love yourself how can you expect someone to love you too. I feel if you have no money then give your time.

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  63. I donated to Planting Peace... thank you all for organizing this...

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  64. I donated to stop-homophobia.com, a charity that works on suicide prevention

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  65. Planting Peace - Everyone needs a place to sleep safely

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  66. I donated to the Center on halsted street, Chicago. They make such a difference and yet so many more need help

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  67. I donated to #Pizza4Equality! Thank you so much for setting this up!

    (And I'm not anonymous--I couldn't get the widget to work. I'm Taste_is_Sweet at Live Journal, and my email is aundrea.singer @ gmail.com)

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  68. I donated to Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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  69. I live in St Louis, MO. I don't have money to donate but I can put up a website. http://www.lgbtcenterstl.org/local-lgbt-community-organizations.html This is "The Center STL". They provide links to and information on all sorts of organizations that support and benefit LGBTQ organizations. I help them whenever I can with time, money and attending events.

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  70. I donated to #Pizza4Equality. This is such a great idea, I'll be tweeting it as well.

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  71. I donated to a local charity, Crossroads Programs.

    http://www.crossroadsprograms.org/index.html

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  72. I donated to Indiana Youth Group.

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. I don't know if it counts, as it's not actually cash, but since last July I've donated copies of the YA LGBT book Omorphi by C. Kennedy to 23 LGBT centers around the country with YA programs.

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  75. I donated to Planting Peace. The thought of any child, having to try and survive on the streets because of cruel and thoughtless parents, makes my heart hurt. Thank you all for doing this and giving us the information and links so that we can do something.

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  76. I donated to the pizza4equality, planting peace and the Indiana Youth Group. ❤️

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  77. I hope I didn't post this twice. Donated to the the Indiana Youth Group. It's an amazing organization serving kids in Indianapolis http://www.indianayouthgroup.org/

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  78. Because Amy Lane asked, I donated $50 to OutTexas, which offers scholarships to LGBTQ kids. That should buy back some pizza karma.

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  79. Great idea! I donated to Pizza4Equality and locally to The LGBT Center of Central PA.

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  80. I donated to the The Trevor Project on the 8th April and will again when I get paid. I don't have a lot of money but I do like to give a little back when I can....

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  81. I donated to Pizza4Equality, Indiana Youth Group,and Planting Peace because all are good charities and I still can’t believe people would throw their children out of the house. I thought most people had a built in unconditional love response.

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  82. I'm in Australia, and thought I'd donate to a homeless shelter in Australia for LGBT Youth. Can't seem to find one -- they must be out there. Anyone know? I can find lots of stats and reports and counselling services. If anyone can give me a suggestion, I'd be grateful.

    As to how people throw their own children away -- I have no idea, I couldn't even put a dog out on the street. This is tragic.

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  83. I made an extra donation in celebration of Timmy Ashton and all his recent accomplishments. He chose Planting Peace. (Please enter HIM into the Rafflecopter in place of me.)

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  84. Thank you Jen CW on the amazon smile comment as I wasn't aware this existed! I set Montrose Counseling Center Inc Houston TX as my charity.

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  85. I donated to the Trevor Project. Every time I do, I wish it was more, but I'll keep donating all I can

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  86. I use Amazon Associates on my blog which pays me a percentage every time someone clicks my links to buy a book. I donate the profits my blog's featured charity which is currently The National Domestic Abuse Hotline. http://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/lgbt-abuse/

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  87. I donated to Indiana Youth Group. I was born and raised in Indiana and I know that there had to be the horrible behavior there in some circles when I was growing up but I'm thankful to say that it was not in my circle. Sexuality wasn't an issue in my house. You just were who you were.

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  88. I donated to #Pizza4Equality. I don't want anyone left out and on the streets just because they are LGBT youth.

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  89. I gave directly to Cyndi Lauper's truecolorsfund.org. -- Emma Jameson

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  90. Unfortunately I don't have money to donate but we are looking into local LGBT organizations locally where we can donate time

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  91. I couldn't pick between the three so I gave a little to each. Thank you to Amy Lane for the heads up about this.

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  92. Planting Peace, wish I had more to give.

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  93. I donated, with love, to #Pizza4Equality.

    I love all of you saying that you don't have the $$ to donate, but will help spread the word. Good on each and every one of you. Opening eyes and changing minds, in this case, is priceless :)

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  94. I donated, with love, to #Pizza4Equality.

    I love all of you saying that you don't have the $$ to donate, but will help spread the word. Good on each and every one of you. Opening eyes and changing minds, in this case, is priceless :)

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  95. I donated to my local LGBT Youth Center, specifically the Youth Housing Project in San Diego.

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  96. One of my favorite local charities that I donate to is Doorways in St. Louis, MO. They are an interfaith housing and services charity working with the HIV and AIDS community in our area. They have recently branched out into working with teens/young adults that are at-risk or homeless due to HIV/AIDS. While this isn't specific to the LGBT community, it's still very prevalent that most at-risk teens fall within the LGBT community.

    While I'm not able to donate to them today. I have donated to them this year and will continue donating as I can. <3

    ~ Chris

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea this was here. I will definitely be looking into Doorways.

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  97. While I can't donate much at this specific time, I do a significant portion of my shopping at AmazonSmile, which donates 0.5% of the purchase price of items to the charity of your choice. While this doesn't seem like a lot, I've heard it can add up quickly. Every 3 months I rotate between various charities dealing with youth homelessness, youth development programs, veterans, LGBT, and medical disease (family specific). The current charity is New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth in NYC. I'm glad to be hearing about these other charities so I can add to my AmazonSmile list!

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  98. Donated to Pizza4Equality and shared on Facebook and Twitter. Will keep sharing when I see posts :)

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  99. I donate to my local PFLAG chapter through AmazonSmile. I hope that with good education and support there will be less parents who ignore, hurt or abandon their LGBTQIA children. I will also spread this campaign on social media; it's a great cause.

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  100. Thanks - I made a donation to the Ali Forney Center. I also donate with qualifying Amazon purchases (via Amazon Smile) to the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

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  101. I donated to the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit.

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  102. I donated to #Pizza4Equality in this case but I regularly donate to Project Fierce in Chicago (who also get my Amazon Smile money), The Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia, and Lost 'N Found in Atlanta.

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  103. So many people with beautiful hearts! Small donations, big donations, or just using your voice... it all matters!!!! Make sure you're hitting the I commented tab on rafflecopter so you enter to win a thank you gift

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  104. I support local charities but post to support this group and things done --have posted this hope all have wishes for improvement for kids who need to see more kindness for their life choices--Thanks to all for this

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  105. Doned to #Pizza4Equality help homeless kids

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  106. I donated to #Pizza4Equality/ Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, No one should be homeless no matter what.

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  107. I haven't been able to donate recently, but I've always had great respect for The Trevor Project.

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  108. I am not able to donate at the moment, but I do volunteer work and I have promoted your push back campaign on facebook, twitter. I wish I could do more, so thank you to all the wonderful people have contributed and hopefully it will make a difference. Hugs

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  109. I donated to The Trevor Project. What a great push back campaign!!

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  110. Thank you very much for your efforts to raise awareness about this truly vital cause! I donated to Pizza4Equality and also to the LIKEME Lighthouse organization in Kansas City.

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  111. Thank you very much for your efforts to raise awareness about this truly vital cause! I donated to Pizza4Equality and also to the LIKEME Lighthouse organization in Kansas City.

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  112. I hope my daughter understands, but her laptop will have to wait. I donated to all three charities and shared in FB and Twitter.
    Thank you all for what you're doing and to all of you who have donated or spread the word. Together we can change the world!

    Together We Can Change The World

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    I believe it’s not too late
    Together we can change the world
    Lay the puzzle pieces out
    Find out what it’s all about
    Together we can change the world

    Can’t do it by myself
    So I’m asking for your help
    Together we can change the world
    Sail past where it’s been charted
    Roll your sleeves up, let’s get started
    Together we can change the world
    Together we can change the world

    With our hands and with our hearts
    We can dare to make a start
    Together we can change the world
    What if we spoke with one voice,
    Knowing that we have a choice?
    Together we can change the world

    Change your mind and change your life
    Set aside the fear and strife
    Together we can change the world
    When we open up our eyes
    Then we start to realize
    Together we can change the world
    Song by: by Mark Shepard
    I do not own this song.
    http://bullyingpreventionnow.com/anti-bullying-songs/together-we-can-change-the-world/
    taina1959 @ yahoo.com

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  113. I donated to Pizza4Equality, Planting Peace, and the True Colors campaign. I can't imagine how a parent could ever turn out their child for any reason especially for who they love, instead of just wanting them to be happy. I hope that this will change, but if it doesn't that there will always be someplace for these teens to go to be safe.

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  114. I donated to Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project and Give A Damn Campaign.

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  115. I'd love to be able to donate...i do donate to cancer charities and childrens charities through our pub...I read m/m books and my kids know this..my youngest who is 17 and me are bi-sexual and love supporting the community..we all deserve to love who we love x

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  116. I donated to the Youth Center in Indiana and Planting Peace Virtual Pizza campaign. Thank you for raising awareness and for the story short. MySmile donations @ Amazon go to LGBT center in Atlanta.

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  117. I donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK.
    http://www.akt.org.uk
    The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day they deal with the effects homelessness can have on young people's lives. They have offices in London, Manchester and Newcastle. :)

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  118. Donated to planting peace. What a great idea! Love this!

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  119. Donated to Indiana Youth Group. Thank you for organizing this!

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  120. I've had my Amazon Smile account set for Atlanta Loast and Found for a while now and I've also donated to my local LGBTQI youth services charity called Open Doors.

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  121. I donated to Marriage Equality. They're working hard to make equality a reality for same sex families. :D

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  122. Donations to Pizza4eqality & Indiana Youth Group. Children are a Gift to be cherished & nurtured not discarded because they fail to meet a parents criteria. This world lacks, Love, Understanding and most of all Compassion!

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  123. I'm donating to the It Gets Better Project. I also keep a permanent post on my blog, for multiple charities, to spread awareness. <3

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  124. I gave to Planting Peace and Pizza4Equality. Thank you Meredith, Kate and AJ for setting this up!

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  125. I am very sad that the state I live in has done this and I hope that my donation to Indiana Youth Group will help negate some of wrongness of the stupid law !

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  126. Forgot to say Marianna Gabriella sent me

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  127. Donated to #pizza4equality and spreading the word!

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  128. I'm looking into local charities but I'm honestly not sure if there are any. I was talking about this issue with my mom recently and I think we need a place for kids to go if they get kicked out or just need a place to go and relax when needed. If there's nothing local I'll look into the groups mentioned

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  129. Donated to #pizza4equality. Thanks to my Facebook friends for letting me know about this great cause and I hope to do my part by donating and help spreading the word.

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  130. I donated to the Trevor Project, but please don't include my entry in the draw. I think I entered the Rafflecopter but I'm a tech gumby so I don't know. I'd prefer my prize to go to a reader. <3

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  131. Oh I thought it was asking what charity we donate to but I donated to Pizza4Equality and planting peace because I couldn't choose one..anyways this is awesome

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  132. I donate to the Trevor Project and also to the LGBTQ scholarship fund at the university I work for.

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  133. I donated to Pizza4Equality!

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  134. I did the only thing i could do---I shared your post on my wall. Hope it helps.

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  135. Thanks to a very kind person on FB who directed me to a local charity where I live, I want yo spread the word on Fiesta Youth, a shelter here in San Antonio TX. =}

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  136. I just donated to Pizza4Equality! I wish I could donate more but it's not possible right now. I do know I'll never look at pizza the same way again.

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  137. I just donated to Pizza4Equality! Great charity!

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  138. I donated to The Trevor Project. Thank you for putting this together Meredith.

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  139. I donated to Indiana Youth Group! Thanks for the chance! Crystal Marie

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  140. All amazing charities - and an amazing campaign by everyone. i donated to the youth group (because they were trailing funds wise!)

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  141. Awesome idea! I donated to #Pizza4Equality

    Peace,
    JLT =)

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  142. I donated to NJ Pride and signed up to be a volunteer

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  143. I can't remember if I've said anything before :) but I have contributed to Pizza4Equality, and fully promote all of this :)
    Dammit, age gets me everytime. Apologies if I repeating things :)

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  144. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  145. Posted this on my g+ page plus pizza4equality

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  146. Donated to The Trevor Project today. :-)
    Feels good to do good.

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  147. Donated to #Pizza4Equality. Lost-n-Found Youth is my Amazon Smile charity also. Thank you for raising awareness.

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  148. Donated to Indiana Youth Group. Thank you all for doing this.

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  149. Donated to Indiana Youth Group. Thank you all for doing this.

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  150. http://www.gofundme.com/lgbtIN I donated here. :)

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  151. My friend is gay and was kicked out of his house at 17. He managed to find a friend whose parents took him in, but it infuriated me that his family would react that way! I have been involved in the Human Rights Campaign since that day. HRC.org

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  152. I donated to #Pizza4Equality. Thanks for doing this! They are all wonderful charities

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  153. Local to me...
    http://www.changephillytoday.com/

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  154. I donated to JASMYN in Jacksonville, FL. It is the nearest city to me. I wanted to help kids in my state. Really amazing you guys are doing this!

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  155. I donated to #Pizza4Equity. I've always been a huge Cyndi Lauper fan and this just makes me love her all the more. And to you guys for organizing this - Thank you so much!!

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  156. I just donated to #Pizza4Equality. :)

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  157. Those statistics turn my stomach. Awesome blog post.

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  158. I donated to pizza4equality. I hope even my small donation will help.

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  159. I was going to donate to a local charity, but changed my mind and donated, instead, to www.truecolors.org.A charity set up by Cyndi Lauper for homeless LGBT youth. This is something very near and dear to my heart. And, like with the message I left on the donation site, if I had the resources, I would love to be able to set up some kind of shelter for LGBT youth in my area. But, since I haven't won the Power Ball lottery yet, I will have to donate to charity, so these kids can get the help they so desperately need. And, I also think this is something that I'll be donating to each month.

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  160. I made a donation to my local LGBTQ center today, on #40toNoneDay. I think the big guys are doing great work, but I have to support the people doing the hard work without a lot of recognition. For anyone else who wants to find a local place: http://www.glbtnearme.org

    Carolyn

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  161. I myself personally donated to a local charity The New Haven Pride Center http://www.newhavenpridecenter.org/

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  162. I shared Charlie Cochet's post on twitter, Facebook, google plus and even pinterest. I hope this helps and I wish you all the luck in reaching your targets and giving back to those wonderful charities.

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  163. I donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK.

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  164. I just donated to the Trevor Project.

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  165. I donated to pizza4equality! YOu guys are wonderful for doing this

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  166. This is fantastic, happily donated to pizza4equality!

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  167. Donated to Indiana Youth Group as I live in Indiana :(

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  168. I haven't heard from whoever I won from yet. email was rojoroaors@yahoo.com

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  169. Thanks for sharing this article, I've really enjoyed reading this. I have recently discovered the amazing work that Listen Ltd
    have done on behalf of charities, you should check them out!

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  170. Thanks for sharing this! It's really interesting to read this article. Thanks also to the LGBT community for the giveaways for children! God bless you all. Share love and happiness to everyone!

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