I believe that telling our stories is one of the most powerful things that we can do, that storytelling is social change work, and that books have the ability to save lives. I’ve written before about how libraries were so important to me, and were in many ways the inspiration for Kicked Out just days after I became homeless. Recently I learned about Amelia Roskin-Franzee a 15 year old lesbian activist in California who not only started her middle school’s first GSA, but has gone on to found ‘The Make It Safe Project’ designed to get LGBTQ themed books into the hands of youth who need them most.
The new organization has already sent book packages to middle and high school students in five states (California, Arizona, New Jersey, Norgh Dakota, and Pennsylvania) with a goal of reaching all states by the end of 2012. The organizations packages have included: Annie On My Mind, by Nancy Garden; Empress of the World, by Sara Ryan; Luna, by Julie Anne Peters; Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithanp; Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown; It Gets Better, ed. by Dan Savage and Terry Miller;GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens, by Kelly Huegel; Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens, by Kathy Belge; and Like Me, by Chely Wright. I’m thrilled to announce that ‘The Make It Safe Project’ is now sending copies of Kicked Out to youth as well!
The organization targets the packages to schools where youth don’t have a lot of support, and where it’s difficult for funds to be allocated to purchase queer themed books for youth. But Amelia isn’t stopping at schools. The Make It Safe Project is expanding its reach and sending book packages, which include Kicked Out to homeless LGBTQ youth shelters who are unable to purchase books for the youth!!!
Money for the books is raised through the pay pall on the organization’s website, and the books sent directly via Amazon to the school or shelter. Every little bit helps, so if you’re able please donate to support getting books into the hands of isolated youth across the country, and the work of an incredible young activist!