Sunday, November 20, 2011

on Giving

Today NPR ran an article on the epidemic of homelessness among LGBT teens. Apparently between 30-40% of homeless youths in major American cities identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

I've been thinking about this all day.

Last year, C and I began donating to the Ali Forney Center, which provides shelter, health care, and social services to homeless LGBT youth in New York City. The Center's director was interviewed as a part of the NPR piece. Ironically, C and I had just donated again to the Ali Forney Center earlier this week. But hearing the NPR piece didn't make me feel a pat on the back for our donation; it made me wonder.

Could we give more? Could we do more?

C and I went for a walk today and talked about it. When I was a part of an evangelical church, I used to donate 10% of my pretax income to my local church. That wasn't a sizeable amount of money back in my college days, but now that C and I are drawing professional salaries, 10% isn't a small chunk of change. It is definitely a lot more than we are presently donating. We talked about upping our game--not only to places like Ali Forney, but to our other favorite organizations like the Acorn Equality Fund in downstate Illinois (no--there is no relation to the infamous and now defunct ACORN organization).

We didn't come to a decision on our walk, but we did decide to reconsider our giving in our upcoming discussion of our family finances.

We also kicked around another idea. Could we be foster parents or provide transitional housing for a homeless LGBT person? It's just the seed of an idea, but it's gotten me thinking. C suggested we could attend a seminar or info session on foster parenting. This could be interesting...


Pomoprophet said...

hmmm. Knowing your sense of humor, seeing the title "on giving" and then seeing a picture of a bunch of guys gathered around, I thought this was going to be a completely different post!

I think having conversations about giving and priority and finances are important for couples. Being foster parents is very noble. My dad did it for awhile. They took in teenagers. One of them robbed them and stole their car and it was stripped. I don't say that to dissuade you, only that I agree with C you should attend a session and ask lots of questions! R and I have talked about opening our home on holidays to local LGBT people who don't have a place to go or families to be with. Of course that would necessitate being in a town where there are actually other LGBT people! :)

Joe Moderate said...

I hear you, Pomo. We totally talked about the risks involved, including theft. My parents raised two foster teens and they were robbed at least once. One of my foster brothers (who my parents later adopted) ran away from home to another family which threatened my mom at gunpoint when she tried to go get him.

This is part of why we'd like to get more information before we walk into something like this blind. But in the meantime we can certainly up our giving game...

D.J. Free! said...

The good news is that you'll probably get a small "stipend" for being foster parents. There's risks, but of course, when it's things like money and cars, that kinda stuff can be replaced. But the chance to change ONE foster kid's life FOREVER...well that's damn-near MasterCard priceless right there!

D.J. Free! said...

Also,'re horrible. Perv!