Happy New Year! This month marks the first installment of my Pay It Forward project. Every month, I’ll be highlighting a different charity on my website and in social media, and donating money in a graduating amount depending on how many of my readers also donate. This month’s charity: GLSEN. If you’ve never heard of GLSEN, what are you waiting for? Keep scrolling and check it out.
Melissa’s Pledge: I will donate a minimum of $25 on January 31st to GLSEN, increasing my donation by $5 (up to $100 maximum) for every person who emails me a copy of their GLSEN donation receipt to: firstname.lastname@example.org
GLSEN stands for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
To Donate: CLICK HERE. Or, on the top of any page on the GLSEN website, click on the tab for “SUPPORT”. A drop down box will appear. The first one listed is “GIVING”; click here. It will open a page with information. You can click on the words “Dean’s List” that’s about the middle of the page. I know it says for monthly giving, but it will take you to the donation page. You can either fill out that page and make sure not to check the box for continued monthly giving or on that page in the top right corner there’s a link that says, “MAKE A ONE-TIME CONTRIBUTION”. This is a credit card site.
What Melissa Loves About GLSEN: GLSEN first came to my attention many years ago when I learned that one of my daughter’s friend’s dad, who’s a teacher, is an active local participant in the organization. GLSEN does a lot to combat sexuality-based bullying and the often negative climate that LBGT students often face in schools. Among other things, they encourage teachers to turn their classrooms into designated safe zones for vulnerable students who may be experiencing bullying and other negativity. I love that idea! If I’d known about GLSEN and the safe zones when I was a high school teacher, I would have designated my classroom as one for sure.
From the GLSEN website:
Mission: The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
About: We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike .We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.
We believe that changing schools for the better changes the world for the better. From the student leaders we’ve supported to the educators we’ve empowered to the policymakers we’ve educated, our evidence-based solutions have had a real impact on thousands of schools and millions of lives.
GLSEN has long been a leader in the movement to make schools safer and more inclusive for LGBT students in the US, and we are committed to supporting a similar mission worldwide. GLSEN staff are recognized as international champions and pioneers of LGBT issues in education and have spoken on their importance across the globe. Our current efforts include:
- Creating an international network of scholars and advocates to make the world safer for LGBT youth.
- Partnering with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote awareness of gender- and sexuality-based bullying worldwide.
- Continuing to support and provide technical expertise to other NGOs to develop research capacity to foster safe schools movements around the globe, including Canada, China, Ireland, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
- Comparing the educational experiences of LGBT youth around the world.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to donate! If not to GLSEN, then to another cause that’s near and dear to your heart. But remember, if you do donate to GLSEN, forward a copy of your receipt to email@example.com and Melissa will increase her donation by $5 (up to $100 max)