Philanthropy Friday: Philadelphia Family Pride
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Philadelphia Family Pride, a local non-profit organization that serves LGBTQ-parented families and prospective LGBTQ parents in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
Who are you? Stephanie Haynes, executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride (PFP.
When was your PFP founded? PFP began in 1993 as an effort by members of a lesbian mothers group who were interested in creating a structure that would address the special needs of children in lesbian and gay-parented families. Members of a group of adoptive parents joined the effort, as did other lesbian and gay parents unconnected with any organization. From its initial, informal meetings, the group grew rapidly. PFP’s first major public event, an educational forum held in the spring of 1994 as part of Philadelphia’s PrideFest celebration, attracted some 70 families.
In July, 1994, PFP became a chapter member of the Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International (GLPCI), a 501(c)(3) organization. A dues structure was also established, and by 1997 PFP had well over a hundred member families from the greater Philadelphia area.
Philadelphia Family Pride ratified its first bylaws in 1996 and in 2000, PFP received tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Now PFP has a diverse membership of over 150 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parented families and prospective parents from Philadelphia and surrounding counties.
One-sentence mission statement: Philadelphia Family Pride’s mission is to build community for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and our children in the greater Philadelphia region through advocacy, education and family-centered events.
The PFP’s shining moment, to date?: I think PFP’s shining moment, at least in the five years I’ve been involved, was the 2013 Family Matters Conference at Arcadia University. The theme that year was Welcoming Schools, addressing how parents and educators can make schools more welcoming for LGBT-parented families. While we have had four other very successful conferences, that one was especially well attended, very supported by our host and a great time for all involved.
If a check for $1 million found its way to my doorstep … I could imagine PFP renting an office, and hiring a staff that would oversee PFP giving grants to prospective LGBTQ parents to help with the medical and legal costs of starting a family, creating a network of regional groups with toolkits and training to empower other parents in the state to start their own organizations. We could also organize more overnight trips for families to learn about LGBT history and civil rights, and just have fun!
Special events coming up? Lots of fun events for our families—ranging from small potlucks in people’s homes to a trip to the Crayola Factory, a Minecraft party for tweens, and our annual Family Matters Conference on October 17 (hosted this year by Linda Hawkins and the Gender & Sexuality Development Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). We also have a pre-school and elementary school fair in the works for April 11th, where we’ll hold a couple workshops for parents on choosing a school for their kids as well as provide an opportunity for local schools to come out and chat with LGBTQ parents. Check our website, phillyfamilypride.org, for more information on events.
Are there ways I can contribute to PFP without giving money? Absolutely! We’re always looking for people to volunteer on one of our committees, which include education and advocacy; fundraising; membership; and conference planning. We’re also on the lookout for people with specific skills, like graphic design or database management, to donate their talents to our efforts.
How can I donate money? People can give a tax-deductible gift to Philadelphia Family Pride on our website or by mailing a check to PO Box 31848, Philadelphia, PA 19104. LGBTQ parents and prospective parents should consider joining PFP for 2015. Join or renew here. We will also be hosting the Family Zone at Pride and OutFEST as in past years, so those wanting to support can stop by our table and donate or join via check, cash or credit card.