On Thursday, Oct. 14, organizers of Wilton Pride presented a check for $2,117 to the Greenwich-based Kids in Crisis LGBTQ youth program Lighthouse. The money was raised during the summer this year through the sale of “Wilton has Pride” signs. Joseph Belisle, Lighthouse program coordinator, sent a letter of thanks to the Wilton residents who supported the effort.
Thank You Wilton!
As the coordinator of the Kids In Crisis LGBTQ youth program, Lighthouse, my heart is very full today as I write this. I want to take this opportunity to give a gigantic shout-out and thank you to everyone who put a rainbow “Wilton Has Pride” sign up on their front lawn this past summer. Special thanks go to Vanessa Elias who helped coordinate this fundraiser and to Sarah Beach, Caroline Unger and Nicole Wilson-Spiro for all their efforts in helping this all come together. 100% of the proceeds went to our Lighthouse group here at Kids In Crisis!
We asked Wilton residents to put these signs out during June Pride Month and so many of you purchased one and displayed it with pride. Some were even kept up throughout the summer months. We are so honored and proud to partner with all the wonderful Wilton residents who helped make this initiative happen. We thank you for your enthusiasm and for recognizing that symbols matter. Every rainbow yard sign is a lifeline to LGBTQ people everywhere. They are an important display of welcome and inclusion.
Many LGBTQ people suffer alone and in silence still in the closet or worse, out of the closet, but still not accepted by family or friends. 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and non-binary youth. More than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful — and only 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth found their home to be LGBTQ-affirming.*
Thank you again to everyone that put out a sign on their front yard. We saw them and so did your community’s LGBTQ youth population! Other Fairfield County towns took note of what you did and joined in on the effort; hopefully this will only grow in coming years. You all made a difference in the lives of so many LGBTQ youth who make their home in this great town. Your support means so much to me personally and to the kids that we serve. I’m so proud to call you my neighbors and proud that you understand the importance of the outreach work we do. A million thank yous!
*Trevor Project – National LGBTQ Mental Health Survey 2021
Lighthouse Program Coordinator, Kids In Crisis