Philanthropy Friday: Valley Youth House

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Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, Valerie Johnson on Warminster’s Valley Youth House, an organization that works to improve the lives of local homeless youth and their families.

Valerie TK and Wired 96.5's  Buster TK at Valley Youth House's annual Casino Night.

Valerie Johnson (L) and Buster from Wired 96.5 at Valley Youth House’s annual Casino Night.

Who are you? Valerie Johnson, development officer at Valley Youth House.

Valley Youth House was founded in … 1973.

One-sentence mission statement: The mission of Valley Youth House is to provide prevention and intervention services, counseling, life skills and behavioral health services to abused, neglected, and homeless youth and their families.

Our biggest shining moment, to date was the inception of our Pride housing program in 2009. We are the only organization in Philadelphia to provide rapid rehousing to homeless LGBTQ youth, which includes rental assistance and supportive services to prepare the youth for independence. Given that 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT compared to just 3 to 5 percent of the general population, these youth are experiencing homelessness at a disproportionate rate and we’re proud to be able to support them.

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DO THIS: Don Your Amateur Drag at The Beauty Ball

Photo by Alexander John.

Photo by Alexander John.

Five years ago Dr. Patrick Barrett began hosting a soiree in his apartment, where he’d ask guests to come in drag. He dubbed the party The Philly Beauty Ball, and it was apparently such a riot that it’s become become one of the year’s most-anticipated events. It’s a chance for those among us who are curious about drag but don’t want to glue on lashes and tuck our junk on a regular basis to see what we look like in a wig and a little rouge. But most importantly it’s a fun way to take part in the community and raise money for a good, local LGBT cause.

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WATCH: Brian Sims Rappels Commerce Square in Center City



If you thought you saw Brian Sims rappelling down the Commerce Square building in Center City this afternoon your eyes weren’t deceiving you. The state representative scurried down from the fourth story of the skyscraper to practice for an upcoming charity rappel down Brandywine Realty Trust’s One Logan Square on Friday, October 24th. He, along with a team of local LGBTers lead by Angela Giampolo, are taking on the task to raise money for The Philadelphia Outward Bound School.

Check out photos of Sims’ rappel above, and a video below. To learn more about the event and to donate, go here.

TOY to be Held at Fire & Ice This Year

TOYTo celebrate its eighth anniversary, TOY, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s annual charity gala for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), will move from Reading Terminal Market, where it has been held for the past two years, to Fire & Ice in Old City.

I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to hear it was moving. It really seemed like the event was becoming synonymous with RTM, where people would gather after hours to hobnob and bring toys that would be donated to the pediatric HIV/AIDS unit at CHOP. It was fabulous there. Why is it moving?

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Brian Sims Douses Himself in Cold Water for Charity

Earlier this summer my Facebook feed was drenched with videos from folks in my hometown, Lancaster, Kentucky, taking part in a “cold water challenge.” The concept is that you pour ice cold water on yourself for charity, and challenge others to do the same. If they don’t accept, they have to fork over big money for the initiator’s charity of choice.

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Eagles’ Connor Barwin, Kurt Vile Team Up to “Make the World Better”

make the world better philadelphiaEagles Linebacker Connor Barwin’s “Make the World Better” charity project is hosting a concert to raise money for much-needed improvements to Ralph Brooks Park in South Philadelphia. The park was constructed in honor of Ralph Brooks Jr., who, when he was 7 years old in 1988, had his spinal cord severed when he was struck by a bullet in a gang-related incident. While the park was named in his memory, the violence in the area has continued, leaving the park in dilapidating condition. The purpose of the effort is to give kids a safe place to play and have fun.

The concert will be on Friday June, 20th, and will feature local groups Kurt Vile and the Violators and the Districts, and Houston’s The Tontons. All money raised will be used to improve the park, which involves adding a new, state-of-the-art basketball court, safe and well-lit play areas, a large community garden and a mural by local artist Steve Powers.

VIP/Meet and Greet tickets are available, giving you the chance to hang with Barwin and his Eagles teammates LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce, Brent Celek, Trent Cole and more. There will also be raffles for Eagles memorabilia, and some of Kurt Vile’s personal pedals and keyboards. Union Transfer has agreed to offer their venue for the concert free of charge and will be donating all bar proceeds from the night. Connor Brown has promised to match the funds raised from the show, doubling the total amount raised. It’s a night not to be missed. Get your tickets here.

 

Federal Donuts Teams Up To Launch a Kickstarter

rooster soup co.If you needed one more reason to love Federal Donuts, here it is: Federal Donuts is collaborating with Broad Street Ministry (BSM), a non-profit, to launch a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign will fund Rooster Soup Company, a gourmet soup restaurant where 100% of the profits will go to the Broad Street Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative. BSM has been providing social services and meals (over 60,000  a year to be exact) to those in need in Philadelphia. Bill Golderer, founder and convening minister of BSM, spoke on the team up saying, “when unlikely collaborators like Broad Street Ministry and Federal Donuts join forces – new possibilities emerge. Getting in the game together leads us past helplessness, and allows us to envision radical new solutions.”

Find out more and watch the video » 

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