Thursday, May 15, 2014

Give OUT Day: Lost N Found Youth, Hosted by Brandon Shire

Give Out Day 2014

May 15 is the second annual Give Out Day. The purpose of Give OUT Day, a national initiative, is to engage hundreds of organizations and mobilize thousands of people on a single day across the country to give in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

It’s a chance for LGBTQ groups large and small, to work across the wide range of issues and activities that matter to the LGBTQ community from sports to policy change, families to the arts. It is your chance to support these organizations and stand up for the LGTBQ causes you believe in.

Here at the Smoocher’s Voice blog, we strive to support the LGBTQ community and its allies. We welcome author Brandon Shire to the blog today to write about the importance of supporting LGTBQ youth organizations, such as Lost-n-Found Youth (

Brandon has always had a special place with us at Smoocher's Voice and we could think of no better community member to host today. 
He can be found at

People sometimes ask why I donate part of the proceeds from my books to charity.  For me, this isn’t the type of question that I would normally ask (anyone), but I smile politely and tell the person that making a difference means more to me than simply talking about how things could/should/would be different if… 

You, my reader, are the if.  I am the if.  Together we are the entire what if factor that makes things change.

Let me tell you what we have (collectively) accomplished together:

We have raised thousands of dollars. We have directly impacted over 200 homeless lgbt kids in the last year. We have helped purchase a property that will soon hold a safe house for more homeless lgbt kids. We have helped open a thrift shop so that a charity can self-sustain. We have identified almost 1000 lgbt kids who still need our help. We have gotten a movement together that is beginning to blossom (nationwide) and has just lately demanded action from the federal level on youth homelessness.  We have brought lgbt programs to a part of the country that had none. We have led the fight to stop bullying of lgbt kids in school. We have helped set up a Safe House program. The list goes on…and on and on.

I didn’t do this by myself. You didn’t do it by yourself. The two organizations which my readers and I support directly did not do this by themselves. There are a growing number of lgbt youth organizations, there are a growing number of volunteers, there is growing awareness, and… there is still a growing need.
LGBT children are still being pushed into the streets, still being pushed into a life of sexual survival slavery, and still taking their own lives at disproportionately higher rates than their hetero-sexual counterparts.

But sometimes it is just one voice, one minor donation, one pair of socks that makes a difference. It seems odd that a pair of socks can give a person a sense of self worth. But it’s true. I have seen it.

Children crying over socks – to witness this is soul-breaking.

Have your kids ever cried over socks? Have you? Me neither. As a kid I tossed them aside and went for the real gifts.  Now I donate them. What a turn-around.

So, as you consider what Give-Out Day is really about, and wonder if your small donation makes a difference. Let me assure you that it does.

Some kid you’ll probably never meet has food, a roof, and cleans socks. That makes a difference, a huge difference. It changes lives. Sometimes, it even saves them.

As a thank you for coming by the blog and (hopefully) participating in Give Out Day, we have had several authors generously donate to a massive give-away. There will be more than one winner and we would LOVE for as many people as possible to come participate. 

We want to thank the following authors for their generosity in donating items for a prize drawing:


swag and A signed Print copy of A Broken Kind of Life by Jamie Mayfield

A signed Print copy of Omorphi by C. Kennedy

An ebook copy of the Sky is Dead by Sue Brown (review here)

A Print copy of the Lost and Found Anthology edited by Kris Jacen (donated by Smoocher's Voice)


  1. Thanks so much for allowing us to host here, and a special thanks to all the authors who gave time, books and effort to help our cause.

  2. very much this..."Together we are the entire what if factor that makes things change."

  3. Thank you so much for this event! To answer the Rafflecopter question, I like the You Can Play Project a lot (which works to eliminate homophobia in team sports)...


  4. I'm always happy to help out the charity for LGBT Youth that Brandon Shire has brought to my attention over the past few years. I hope Lost-n-Found Youth benefit greatly from GiveOUT Day.

  5. It's wonderful to see so many people participating in Give Out Day. To answer your raffle copter question, I'm involved with several different places at the moment, but would rather not enter your contest and instead thank these fabulous authors for their generosity by buying their books. :)

  6. I've linked my Amazon Smile account to Lost-n-Found youth. This seems such a simple thing to do. I'm not spending as much as I used to unfortunately, but if everyone did something like this, I'm sure it would start to add up. Every little bit helps, right?

  7. I don't promote and LGBTQ charities specifically. I am a nurse and the health and wellbeing of every human is my passion, but especially children. I support the March of Dimes, our local food shelf (because I believe in helping your neighbors). I also am passionate about doing what I can for the Red Cross, even though they don't have the greatest reputation, I have given blood for years, and both Breast and Prostate cancer awareness campaigns.

  8. I love Give OUT Day! I feel like we should be supporting everyday, but life gets busy, the to-do list gets longer, and you keep putting it off... Having a national initiative like this is sort of like a wake up call. Stop putting it off and do it now!

    Someone else already mentioned linking their AmazonSmile account to Lost-N-Found. I did that as well. I also supported both L-N-F and the Ali Forney Center in NYC over Christmas, helping them obtain items they needed for their youth. I've purchased YA LGBT paperbacks and donated them to libraries so LGBT kids could have access to them. And let's not forget Eric Arvin and Tj Klune! Not that they are a "charity" but they are a part of our community that so many people have helped in their time of need.

  9. Thanks Cam and everyone here are Smoocher's Voice. And Brandon, thank you for confirming that even the little things make a difference.

    Personally I've changed my gift giving (where I can) to benefit a cause. Most recently I participated in a pay-it-forward for a friend and donated to a local lgbtq charity in her name. I've also connected my Amazon Smile account to L-n-F, that's a no brainer.

    And, like the rest of you, I also try to spread the awareness around. Primarily through Twitter and even on a personal level to help educate everyone about the needs that are out there. I haven't mentioned the lgbt youth homeless epidemic to one person who wasn't astounded. So often they had no idea.

    It does me a lot of good to look around at the blogs today and see everyone's wonderful hearts :)

  10. What a great idea! I haven't been involved with LGBTQ charities yet, but I am trying to get involved personally as much as I can.

  11. I haven't ben able to regularly support any organizations, but I donate whenever I can.

  12. There aren't so many specific LGBTQI charities in the UK, but I am an ally and I've done work both with mentoring kids at my old high school and working on a crisis hotline - both of which deal partially with people who have LGBTQI issues.

  13. I usually donate when I can to the Trevor Project since I don't have a lot of times to go out to charities to volunteer.


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