For the past six years, Giving Tuesday has served as a gentle reminder during the busy holiday season that it is always better to give than receive. That’s an adage that took on a new level of meaning for Rudy’s this year. Though we’ve always been a company deeply committed to the LGBTQ community, it wasn’t until the launch of our donation program that assists LGBTQ homeless youth that we were able help create impact on a larger scale.
Thanks to our wonderful long-time partners at the It Gets Better Project and our customers, we’ve been able to provide a week’s worth of shower products for every bottle of Rudy’s 1-2-3 sold. Since March alone, we’ve made more than 34,000 showers happen at 15 shelters across the country, and along the way we’ve gotten to see first-hand the work these organizations are doing to change the lives of young people.
This Giving Tuesday, we're shining a spotlight on a few of those shelters that would greatly benefit from your attention and your contributions. While they may be on different coasts and in different cities, they're all united in their passion for serving LGBTQ homeless youth.
In 1974, a group of concerned citizens started the first shelter for homeless and runaway youth In the western United States that grew from just three humble beds to 11 sites that serve the greater Seattle area. Over the past 43 years, YouthCare has helped countless young people prepare for an independent life with services that include prevention, outreach, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. In 1998, they blazed the trail once again, opening the first transitional living program in Washington state focused on catering to the specific needs of homeless LGBTQ youth.
Inspired by the memory and spirit of Ali Forney, a gender-nonconforming teen who fled home at the age of 13, the Ali Forney Center opened its doors in New York City in 2002. Over the course of the past 15 years, AFC has become the largest organization in the country dedicated to assisting and advocating for LGBTQ homeless youth. Each year they serve over 1,400 young people at their 24-hour drop-in center, which provides hot meals, medical and mental health counseling, education and career resources, and a host of other services that prepares clients for living successful, independent lives.
For 29 years and counting, My Friend’s Place has been assisting and inspiring homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. From their early beginnings as a volunteer-based group serving meals from the trunks of cars to the resource center they operate today in Hollywood, My Friend’s Place offers services to homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, as well as their children and pets. Through their ground-breaking programs such as the Corner Collective Gallery and Cirque du Monde they are helping move clients towards wellness, stability and self-sufficiency.
Though the donations Rudy’s provides to these organization are great, it’s the time, money, and support that individuals like you contribute that truly makes the biggest impact. To learn more or discover how you can make a difference, visit the websites of the It Gets Better Project, YouthCare, The Ali Forney Center, and My Friend’s Place.