Giving back to your community is important and with Pride month quickly approaching, we thought it was a good idea to mention some meaningful, significant LGBTQ+ charities to support this summer!
Ten Oaks Project
The Ten Oaks Projects focuses on LGBT children and youth groups to connect and grow through programs. The project is based in Ottawa, Ontario and is currently offering two summer programs. Camp Ten Oaks is the first program which is a one week, sleep away camp for 8-17 year olds. The program began in 2005 and has since doubled its capacity. The camp offers children a space where they can “not only feel accepted, but celebrated”. Through social justice activities, arts, outdoor adventures and more the camp empowers youth while building self esteem, leadership skills, self confidence and independence. Project Acorn is the second program offered. For 16-24 year olds, this retreat offers youth a safe space to be themselves, learn from each other while developing their leadership skills.
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity
The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity’s mission is to empower gender and sexually diverse communities through education, research and advocacy. The CCGSD use their resources to uplift gender and sexual minorities, as well as build allyship. Their vision is a world without discrimination, a world in which people can shape the decisions that impact their lives, enjoy freedoms and navigate an equal world free of violence. The five basic principles the organization follows to support their visions are as follows: Diversity, Intersectional Feminism, Education, Empathy and Compassion, and Open Communication and Integrity. Some recent campaigns of the CCDSD include an Intersex awareness and allyship campaign, a “No Conversion Canada” campaign highlighting the abuse of conversion therapy across Canada, a Two-Spirit Inclusion campaign to celebrate Two Spirits and their identities, and also a Stop HIV/Aids Stigma call to action demanding federal action against HIV criminalization. The centre is also located in Ottawa, Ontario.
The Rainbow Railroad is an international charitable organization that assists LGBTQI+ people seek safe haven from states where homosexuality is persecuted, leads to violence, and in extreme cases possible death. Rainbow Railroad provides travel funding, information, connections and other important details to help individuals flee dangerous circumstances. As we unfortunately know, people all over the world in the LGBTQI+ community are faced with the threat of violence and criminalization depending on where they are from. People are attacked on the streets and even in their own homes. Since their beginnings in 2006, Rainbow Railroad has helped more than 500 individuals flee to safer countries. They answer urgent pleas from LGBTQ people in countries such as Jamaica and Uganda. In 2018 alone, they received over 1,200 requests for help. They take no government funding and operate as a grassroots network of LGBTQI activists and allies. In 2013, the organization became a non-profit and obtained Canadian registered charity status. As Rainbow Railroad acknowledges, a bed in a safehouse or plane ticket could be the difference between life and death for individuals in these countries. They solely rely on the donations from the public to do this life saving work.