(By the time I ceased being CEO at the end of 2017 of what became known as Free2Be the agency had a $1,000,000 annual budget, offices in 5 cities, 16 employees, and services in 7 cities. It was serving hundreds of clients of all ages and continued to foster positive social changes throughout the region. The first 5 years were a beautiful and challenging blessing which I am now very thankful to have experienced. As you can see in this post from 2012 it was very difficult existing in those challenging moments.)
By the end of Saturday night at my current schedule I will have worked/donated at least 65 hours to our community through my work with GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services this week alone...I realize most of you have no idea how much time I spend working for the community. I tell you because we desperately need donations. We do so much on so little but it cannot continue this way and what we do is important to each of you in some way either directly or indirectly. If you value what we do...what I do you must realize that I need your help. We are into our 3rd year of service to you and I struggle every month trying to keep the agency going. This distracts me from the most important work that is actually the work of helping people. Unless a person is independently wealthy they cannot be expected to live this way. These are my choices I know this and I will continue as long as I can until my guilt for owing people money and my feelings of inadequacy for having my parents support me takes over or my car dies and I simply can't get to the office or to our meetings or to meet with youth. I need to buy food instead of having my parents support me while I work for you. If every person in my contact list would just donate $10 we would have more money than we raised in the past 2 years together! I've realized that even a non-profit has to have money to get money. I either stop all the work I am doing and focus on raising money or I have someone on staff to do this. But I can't have a staff person because I can't pay them. We cannot pay me much less someone else. If I stop working how can I expect people to give their money? It is a vicious cycle that frustrates me everyday. As soon as I get some time I will be sending out personal requests for help but when do I have the time or the energy? We have less than $50 in the business account and I have about the same or less in my own account. My car is 20 years old and when it finally decides to stop running me all over town for the agency I do not have any resources to fix it or get another. Friends...I am poor. Did you know I have no income to speak of...who do you know who works the way I do and doesn't ask for anything except money to keep the work going which is all about helping others and to get by as best I can? You know someone who does because you know me. An agency that does as much as we do and that gives as much as we give should not have to operate this way. It is not sustainable.
You can help by having conversations with people about the work we do. The things we do to build community and the support we give to kids and adults. We had 5 teenagers at our group this past Monday night and saw at least 16 different teenagers during 2011. This doesn't count all those we've reached and helped in other ways. Just talk to someone for me. I believe that eventually God will bring the people to me that we need to support what we do and make even more possible. I know you may not have it yourself but you can make a difference by telling someone else. I can't talk to everyone myself. You know people I do not know.
Peace & love,