It’s That Time of Year, Get Involved In 1n10’s 3rd Annual Adopt-A-Diva/Rockstar Program
Adopt-A-Diva/Rockstar is a Holiday Wish-Gift Drive to bring Holiday Cheer to our LGBTQ & Allied Youth at YEP, our Youth most in-need. Many of our YEP Youth are homeless, couch-surfing, living in poverty, have little-to-no family support, are dealing with depression especially around the holidays, are just starting out on their own and/or are facing major life challenges on a daily basis. We celebrate our YEP Family “Queermas” every year on December 25th 10am-2pm- Actually, We celebrate our YEP Family Every Day- but “Queermas” is extra-special. Over the years at 1n10/YEP, many Youth have expressed how difficult the holidays can be for them-and how now “Queermas” has made the holidays fun and happy, something to look forward to-. It’s not really about the gifts but about being “family” and the sense of belonging, being part of our community. One specific example, I’ll never forget- a Youth said last year, “Thank you for bringing the childhood I never had, back.” Our Youth are Amazing and “Queermas” is our day to say Thank You to them for being so courageous, for being themselves, being resilient, and being leaders despite the challenges they face- each individual Youth is a gift to our community.
How It Works? Youth are “surveyed” at the end of October on their clothing size info and 3 items they want/need (however all our new Youth have no idea why- they think it’s for the government- and our Youth who have been with us for Queermas in the past are sworn to secrecy.) Then we create “Wish Trees” with Gift Tags for each individual Youth- stating their “Youth Code” (to respect confidentiality) and 2 items they want/need (usually clothes, backpacks, bus passes, food gift cards, shoes, socks, hygiene and some fun items). We deliver the trees to many LGBTQ Organizations throughout the Valley and also email individuals, Facebook etc. Some people pull a specific Youth’s name and donate a specific gift, others donate bulk items to distribute such as bus passes, gift cards, clothes etc. By the week before “Queermas” myself and a team full of “elves” organize all the gifts, evenly distribute- then wrap and on “Queermas Eve” we put it all under the YEP tree with each gift tagged “To: Youth Name, Love Santa” A Lil Cheezy, Yes- but they LOVE it! & So do I- it’s my favorite day of the year. The best part is watching their faces as they walk in the House on “Queermas” morning- it’s the BEST!
How can you get involved? There are many ways:
-“adopt” a youth for the holidays
-donate bulk goods: new hygiene products, blankets, bus passes, warm clothes, hats, gloves, hoodies, shoes, food (they are always needed at YEP)
-help organize & wrap gifts the week before “Queermas”
-donate money for last minute shopping for the youth that didn’t get gifts, items needed, etc.
-donate food for the YEP House at any time (always needed)
-cook and deliver food on “Queermas”
-organize a Drag Show or Event to benefit Adopt-A-Diva/Rockstar (many are already being organized- Micheal will have the dates of shows)
Wish Trees will be at:
One Voice Community Center
Or anyone can contact me for gift pickup, more info, or to firstname.lastname@example.org 602-754-1175
Or you can drop gifts/donations off at 1n10 2700 N 3rd St. #2011 (2ndfloor) Phoenix, AZ 85004
Please do not drop gifts off at YEP because Youth because it’s a surprise.
This year being our 3rd Annual “Queermas”- we will be needing/giving gifts to approximately 130 Youth and at least 100 of our Youth will attend on “Queermas” Day, last Year we needed gifts for 100 Youth, and the year before about 60 Youth- Our YEP Family continues to grow each year.