4 Nonprofits that Support the LGBTQ+ Community, Women and Girls, and POC
Kurt Vonnegut wrote in his 1997 novel, Timequake, “Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.” And it’s true. There are people who get up each day to work for social justice and solve issues you likely care about.
Whether you’re able to make a small donation, volunteer at an event or give them a “like” on social media, you’ll be glad to learn about these non-profits, and hopefully get involved with them:
For nearly 30 years, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has been providing educators with resources to educate and empower LGBTQ+ youth in grades K-12. They provide educators with evidence-based research to better support students and provide queer youth with leadership opportunities. GLSEN has advocated for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act and fought against discriminatory legislation in over 15 states.
GLSEN has over 43 chapters across 30 states. You can show your support by volunteering, attending an event or purchasing items at their online shops
Period. is a largely youth-led organization that provides free menstrual products to those in need and works toward putting an end to the stigmatization of periods. Some of their advocacy initiatives include eliminating the “tampon tax” that designates menstrual-related items as a “luxury,” as well as providing free menstrual products in all public restrooms. This is particularly important in prisons and shelters because poverty and lack of accessibility lead to issues such as toxic shock syndrome and soiled clothing.
Luckily, Period. chapters shouldn’t be too hard to find —they have 600 chapters across the globe. If you join a chapter, you’ll help assemble kits of menstrual products and establish relationships with local food kitchens, shelters and nonprofits. Period. also has volunteer internship opportunities in graphic design, marketing and more.
Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is “on a mission to eliminate racism and empower women.” Although the word “Christian” is in their name, they’ve phased out religious connotations over the years to become more inclusive. Now, they are commonly referred to as “the YW.”
Across the country, regional YWCAs (like the YMCA without the catchy song and dance) tend to offer programs that reflect the needs of the community they serve. Some focus on child care, while others might place greater emphasis on affordable housing or domestic violence support programs. But all in all, the programs are designed to address the byproducts of systemic racism and empower women and girls. YWCAs also participate in an annual Stand Against Racism campaign, which focuses on a new theme each year. The 2020 Stand Against Racism campaign will address barriers to civic engagement, particularly in communities of color.
There are over 200 YWCAs across the country, and there are many ways to help out. Almost any big fundraising event will require volunteers, and sometimes programs need help on a more frequent basis (like coaching a youth sports team or helping an English as a Second Language student practice conversational skills).
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that provides free crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth (under 25). At-risk youth can call, text or chat with volunteers who are trained to offer help and support. The Trevor Project also provides training for allies and adults, as well as resources to help queer youth come out and embrace their identities. They are vocal about LGBTQ rights, like protecting youth from conversion therapy, opposing legislation and researching the suicide rates of transgender people of color.
You can volunteer for the Trevor Project anywhere in the United States by advocating against policies that are harmful to the LGBTQ community (like conversion therapy), and supporting the implementation of LGBTQ suicide-prevention policies in schools. You can also volunteer to staff the TrevorChat or TrevorText remotely, anywhere in the United States. The Trevor Project will train you to respond to young people who are struggling with their identity, coming out or suicidal ideation. A great way to learn more about any organization is to follow their social media or sign up for their newsletters (which are usually sent out once a month). People do care about the issues you care about, and work hard to solve them. You are not alone.