On Christmas, I will suffer so homeless LGBT youth can suffer less. Will you help me suffer for the greater good?
On Christmas Day, I completed an attempt to become a Knight of Sufferlandria.
To do that I had to complete at least 10 of TheSufferfest.com’s indoor cycling workouts back-to-back with no more than 10 minutes separating each. Those of you who are familiar with TheSufferfest.com know how wonderfully hard the workouts are. As the name indicates, the idea is suffer through a session ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours each; there are references to “pain shakes” and “eating nails for breakfast” and so on, as these are the toughest and best cycling trainer sessions out there. This means I was on my bike alone for more than 12 hours in one shot to complete this challenge, a feat that has only been accomplished by only 52 brave souls in the world before me.
As part of this event, it was suggested that one uses this as an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to a cause, and I have the perfect thing: On Christmas, I will suffer so homeless LGBT youth can suffer less. Will you help me suffer for the greater good?
The holidays are difficult times for homeless LGBT youth. In the USA, there is no adequate safety net for homeless youth. Last year over 500,000 youths experienced homelessness, and at least 40% were LGBT, because so many teens are rejected by families who cannot or will not accept them.
My ride will benefit the Ali Forney Center and the Hetrick Martin Institute, two NYC-based organizations doing wonderful work for LGBT youth. I am accepting donations of small items for the holidays based on wish lists from the organizations, or small amounts of money to purchase these goods. I know money is tight around this time, but can you spare a pair of socks? Here’s the list of goods I’m collecting:
For Hetrick-Martin Institute
· New and unopened travel-sized toiletries including soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, disposable razors, shaving gel, lip balm, deodorant, handwipes, tissues, feminine hygiene products, hair gel, hair bands, brushes, combs, and Q tips
· New and unopened underwear, socks, tights, and leggings
· Small but essential winter accessories such as warm hats, gloves, scarves, and disposable hand warmers
· Non-perishable portable food such as instant noodles, canned pastas, cereal, and granola bars
· Reusable water bottles
· Sewing kits
For Ali Forney Center
· Gift Cards in $10 denominations to four AFC approved vendors (McDonalds, Starbucks, Old Navy, and iTunes)
· New hats, gloves, and scarves
· New socks
· School Supplies (notebooks, markers, etc)
You can purchase online through Amazon and have it shipped directly to HMI if it is most convenient, but there are better deals to be found at CostCo and other local places, and I’d rather you use your funds in a way that makes the most impact (example: 60 granola bars are $21 on Amazon, and $11 at CostCo). Also, you may have some of these items in your home now, and I’ll gladly take them off your hands.
Ways you can help:
– Purchase any item(s) from the list and I will pick it up from you if you are in NYC. I’m particularly interested in the hats/gloves/socks and mini toiletries as I think those are most important, but I will come get anything you’ll contribute.
– Donate any amount of money and I will purchase the items in bulk to get the best deal. You can give me money if you see me or donate via PayPal and I will buy in bulk. Consider donating the cost of your red cup of joe – you’ll put gloves on four hands with a small $4 donation.
– Share this with your networks. I will pick up donations of any size from anywhere in the city prior to January 1.
– A shop on St. Marks Place offered me gloves for $2. That’s a great place to get gloves and hats.
– Foods from the list can be bought in bulk at CostCo or BJ’s or similar places for cheaper than buying small packs in the city.
– 99 cent stores = big scores for toiletries, socks, and other items.
– or, take the guesswork out and I’ll get the best deals. Money to organizations covers administrative costs and overhead, even in the best organizations. Gifts of gloves, hats, and so on directly benefit those who need it the most.
To donate money for purchase of gloves, hats, and socks, paypal funds.
To donate items, leave a comment below and we will set up a time for me to get them.
To make a tax deductible donation (the donations of goods or cash to me to get goods is not), donate here: http://www.aliforneycenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=2222
This ride continues my work to protect homeless youth by supporting the few programs across the country that provide housing, and by demanding that our country become a place where every homeless teen can have a safe place to sleep at night.
Thanks for your help & I wish you a suffer-free holiday season!