Hi, everyone! Today I wanted to tell you about two initiatives to help the LGBTQ+ community in the wake of the Orlando shooting. I heard about them recently, and am currently involved with one and planning to participate in the other.
A few posts ago, I talked about a little girl who’s been making cards for the families of the shooting victims. Remember? Well, a teenager recently organized the #LettersToOrlando campaign “in order to send handwritten letters, post cards, drawings, poems, etc. of support that will be delivered to the LGBT Center in Orlando, the families and loved ones, and those recovering in the hospital.”
You can find more information – including where to mail the letters/cards/et cetera – here if you’re interested in participating. The due date is June 26th, so you still have enough time to make something.
My friends and I have been making cards with the goal of eventually finishing forty-nine of them, one for each of the families of the victims. Some of us have taken on the job of cutting and gluing, while others have been doing calligraphy of positive/inspirational quotes that are relevant to the LGBTQ+ community. (I can give you the link to the page where we found most of the quotes, if you’d like.)
Another, more indirect way you can help is through this literacy memorial. This effort focuses on creating a positive, uplifting environment for LGBTQ+ people all across the world instead of just on the community in Orlando. Part of the main post is as follows:
“We believe in the power of stories to change lives. We believe that if you open a book, the mind and heart might follow.
To this end, we ask that we fill our communities with positive books and stories of LGBTQA individuals and communities. We ask that you purchase books to donate to libraries in your communities. You can donate books to public libraries, school libraries, prison and youth detention center libraries, little free libraries, or LGBTQA resource centers. Just select books that promote positive images and stories of the LGBTQA community.”
I think this is a GREAT idea. As an avid reader and writer, I believe 100% in the potential that stories have to comfort us and encourage personal growth. LGBTQ+ media has been hugely influential in my own life by helping me find role models and come to terms with my identity.
I haven’t bought any books for the project yet, but I intend to do so soon… most likely at the used book store in town because A) their books are cheaper, B) I like to support locally-owned businesses, and C) they have cats. (I am always eager to pet cats and buy books.)
I still need to figure out where to donate the book(s), though. Someone commented on their Facebook page, pointing out that it’s important to select communities that really need these books. It would be easy to give the books to, say, a library in my town, but quite frankly Iowa City doesn’t need them. Isolated towns with tiny libraries sadly lacking in LGBTQ+ lit need them. I just need to find out where they are.
Please consider supporting either one or both of these projects!