We Raise $5,000 or Get Nothing!

The Guardian Group has accepted a challenge to raise $5,000 by July 4th on the Unitarian Universalist crowdsourcing site, Faithify.

We need the money to continue to help LGBT refugees and asylum seekers settle in the San Francisco Bay Area.  When they first arrive we  buy our clients things like MUNI passes, cell service, and clothes for job interviews until they find a job and start supporting themselves. Refugees get $500/month for 8 months, but that does not cover their basic needs in high cost San Francisco

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work for six months, they get no government support, and cannot get routine medical care, unless they are San Francisco residents.

So the Guardian Group steps in and provides some basics when we can. Things like a bicycle helmet, emergency food money, and maybe a night at a hostel when a client’s boyfriend kicks him out without warning.

Recently we have been spending on average $4,500 for the client’s first year — that amount is more for asylum seekers and less for refugees.

We need help from beyond our mid-sized congregation if we are going to be able to continue to help newly arrived LGBT people in need.

To qualify for Faithify we have to agree that we either reach our goal, or our donors get their money back. So, it’s $5,000 or nothing!

Please help us help newcomers!  Click and Give on Faithify!

Thanks, Sisters

Pete and a Sister showing the donation check

Pete receives a big check from a Sister

 

The First Unitarian Universalist Society’s social justice volunteers who help LGBT refugees and asylum seekers settle in San Francisco were honored to receive a $1,000 check from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on Easter Sunday.

Thank you, Sisters.

$2,175 Raised in First Crowdfunding Campaign

Flowers in front of a Flaming Chalice with "$2,175! Thank You!" textThank you!

We are very grateful for people who clicked and donated yesterday to the Guardian Group’s first attempt to raise money through crowdfunding. Our GiveOUT page shows a total of $2,175 has been donated to help LGBT refugees, asylum seekers, and asylees.

We appreciate the Horizon Foundation’s offer to let us participate in the nationwide GiveOUT Day. During the 24 hours of this campaign our supporters shared our posts, retweeted, and donated.

The is the Guardian Group’s first experience asking for money through social media. It worked! We will be back… but, not too often. Our next fundraising will include online donations, but it will focus on people of faith and, specifically, Unitarian Universalists. Not so many general Tweets and Facebook posts!

The money raised will allow us to continue to help LGBT newcomers settle in the Bay Area. The funds will go to things like bicycle repairs, bus passes, cell phone service, and some emergency housing support.

San Francisco is very expensive. The money we received will help us help vulnerable people get a start creating a new, free life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Give to the Guardian Group on National Give OUT Day

Give Out Day Logo on Rainbow BackgroundThe Guardian Group is looking for financial help to continue its work of supporting San Francisco area LGBTI refugees, asylum seekers, and asylees. This year we are participating in the Horizon Foundation’s Give OUT Day on April 20th.

Here’s the link to click with your credit card in hard on April 20th!

Give OUT Day is the national day of giving for the LGBTQ community – a 24-hour online fundraising event that unites the LGBTQ community from all areas of the United States to raise money for non-profits.

Throughout the day-long event, thousands of people make gifts to support a vast array of LGBTQ nonprofits across the country, ranging from the arts to social services agencies, advocacy groups to sports leagues, community centers to health care nonprofits. The Refugee Guardian Group is one of the charities that are participating in this event.

Of course we will happily accept donations any time. But, if you’re considering helping the cause of queer newcomers, consider acting on your generous impulses on the 20th!

We really need your help to continue our work in the community.

Here’s the link to click with your credit card in hard on April 20th!

My Thoughts on Why

How difficult. How extraordinary. People come here and they don’t have any idea of what their life will be like. Husbands with wives awaiting, mothers whose children have yet to gain entrance… and those persecuted in their countries for who they are coming and hoping there is acceptance and not persecution. The world is shuffling and figuring out how best to deal with all these differences.

My parents came from Holland after WWII. Holland had been destroyed and many were looking for a better life. My mom came with her parents and siblings (except for my aunt who was already married to a Hollander) But still one of 13. Earlier, before WWI, my grandfather had lived here in CA but had to go back to serve in the military of Holland. They lived through WWII in occupied Holland but he always wanted to return to CA. My uncles and aunts worked in the underground to fight the Germans. This was 1945. And my grandfather finally made it possible to go to the USA in the late 1900’s.

To be an American. My parents brought us up on 600 acres of land in the central valley of CA with 300 milking cows. This could be thought of as a dynasty now but we were in the dairy business with 2 other uncles. And the land was flood plain and our profits were good because there were milk support prices from the feds. We grew and we brought more people over from Holland and the Azores … we grew and became successful. And if you know the dairy business you will know it is 24 hours a day 365 day a year. Growing up I remember going once a year to a “summer camp” but always being home… never going out to dinner or other diversions. … but never feeling that we were in any way deprived. However, there were times with classmates, because we foreign and “unknown”, were not accepted in the little everyday ways of sleep-overs or regular visitations. We were living in a white American community – even though we were “white”. And my parents’ accents made them different, and in some way we were made to feel “different” – even though we were white. But in this small community in the 1950’s, we were different. We lived on a farm and my parents did not have a college education. They were not lawyers or doctors and yet they paid for us to go to private Catholic schools. We only lived in the country … even though my father was the smartest man I have ever known.

A client and Jackie

Luduina’s Client (left) with her at a forum in February, 2016

So, we grew. My father insisted that we go to college … something that he had wanted for himself but could not because his world had shattered. But we all did.

And now I volunteer many years later to assist in different ways new people coming at a time when it is so much more difficult to be a citizen of this country. I work and honor their strength and beliefs. It doesn’t matter why. But I can feel the hope and desire and belief that this is a country that accepts us … in all our differences and experiences … we are all hopeful. And our lives have extraordinary possibilities.