Wonder Boi Writes

Birds Give Back 2020

Every year my alma mater, Illinois State University, has a major fundraising drive, and for the past couple of years it has been my honor to be a part of giving back to the place that gave this Redbird my wings. Last year I wrote a blog about why I feel so indebted to ISU, complete with adorable pictures of me from my days on campus and from the time they gave me a very nice award.

Today, I want to share some information that is about so much more than me. Today I want to tell you about some of the Redbirds I am raising money for. You see this year my Birds Give Back link will take you directly to the donation page for the LGBTQIA SUPPORT FUND.

This fund is used to offer emergency support for LGBTQIA students who have been disowned or financially cut off from their families solely on the basis of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

It breaks my heart to think that we still need this fund, and honestly for a while I wasn’t sure we still did. There were several years where no one applied at all, but as many of you know, the political climate has deteriorated for queer people across the country over the last few years, and our young people have been hit particularly hard. The fund has allocated $50,000 in the last five years.

In the past year alone, 11 students have applied for emergency funding. Let that sink in. Eleven college students have been completely abandoned by their biological families just for being queer in some way.

One of the administrators of the fund told me that the students are incredibly humble in what they ask for, just enough to make the next tuition payment or to purchase a text book, but doing so also alerts those in charge to often greater needs, including basics like food, toothpaste, or safe living arrangements. Because the fund (and the processes around it) exists, many students have been connected to larger support networks that can save not just their educations, but also their lives.

For privacy reasons I cannot share some of the horror stories I’ve heard from students and advisors, but they are sad, shocking, and scary. Most of the students’ ties to family were severed unexpectedly, and occasionally violently, often leaving them in harrowing situations.

As someone who understands the power of family of choice, I strongly believe that each and every one of these students is my kid. They are your kid. They belong to us, to our community. That is why this fund exists, as a way for us to save our kids. We are their families now, and I pray we can show them the love and support their biological families failed so badly to provide.

I want to do my part, and that is why I am offering these incentives to anyone who makes a donation during today’s fundraiser:

Anyone who donates at least $10 while using this link on Feb 27 will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free ebook copy of any one of my novels.

Anyone who donates at least $100 dollars will be guaranteed to receive any one of my audiobooks or ebooks. 

Anyone who donates $250 will receive a free, autographed, print copy of any one of my books, along with a handwritten thank-you note.

And finally, anyone who donates $500 or more to these students who mean so much to me will receive not only a free, autographed, print copy of any one of my books and a thank-you card from yours truly, but also the right to name a side character in one of my future books! 

Finally, if you donate, don’t forget to shoot me an email at Rachel_Spangler@yahoo.com to let me know which book or ebook you’d like!

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and I am proud to know each and every one of you who opens your heart (and wallet) to make sure that every Redbird is given the opportunities I was given at ISU. You never know whose future you might be helping to secure.

Again, all you have to do is use this link: https://birdsgiveback.illinoisstate.edu/amb/Spangler

February 27, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


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