An email came on Monday from Lorri Jean, CEO of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center about a remarkable gift from a 7 year old stranger. Jean says the gift got everyone at the Center buzzing; I later learned that buzzing also involved some tears of joy and hope for the future.
Here’s Jean’s email:
“What we found in our mailbox has everyone here at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center buzzing. It was a small envelope that carried two letters and a check for $70. But this is what blew us away: it was from a 7-year-old boy! His name is Malcolm, but we call him our “Littlest Champion.” On a note that accompanied the check he wrote: “I am sending you this money because I don’t think it’s fair that Gay people are not treated equally.”
Such compassion and wisdom at such a young age! Malcolm’s gift gave me such hope for our future. A hope that when his generation reaches adulthood that all of the homophobia, discrimination, and abuse we in the LGBT community face today will no longer exist. His mom enclosed a note explaining a little more:
“To teach the importance of improving the world around him, Malcolm was given $140 to give away to the charity of his choice. After hearing a story on the radio about the mistreatment of gays and lesbians, Malcolm became both upset and curious about the issue…to help, he chose to split his money between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had it in their heart to follow the example of this enlightened 7-year-old? His mother thought so. She gave us permission to use Malcolm’s story and challenged the Center to raise $27,000 in his name, which will provide an ENTIRE YEAR of care in our Transitional Living Program for one homeless LGBT youth. That includes three meals a day, hot showers, a safe and warm bed, clothing, mental health care and other vital services. In mailing his check and letter, his mother told us that he wondered whether anyone would even notice his contribution. Help us show Malcolm that when one person (even a 7-year-old!) takes a stand in support of fairness it can inspire others to do the same and that his generosity will make a difference for countless kids who have fallen victim to the discrimination that Malcolm sees so clearly as wrong. In a few days, we’re going to send Malcolm a big thank you card to let him know just how much he has inspired others. Please help and give today and we’ll sign your name to the card. Any amount you can give will help us meet the challenge set forth by this inspiring child—and help the Center fight discrimination against the LGBT community and provide vital resources like food, shelter, counseling, mentoring programs, medical care and so much more. Please join our Littlest Champion and help us meet this challenge today—and help usher in a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow!
Lorri L. Jean
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. Thank you for joining Malcolm in giving from your heart. Your support will help the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center sustain our vital safety net for our community.