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 kind of support, but the fund is now getting requests from 8-10 students a year. Let that sink in. All those students are facing complete abandonment 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.
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, but the fund is dangerously low. They currently have nearly $5,000 in need and roughly $100 in expendable funds.
But we can change that today. 100% of the money raised as part of Birds Give Back will go straight into expendable funds. And what’s more, a generous donor has offered a to unlock a $10,000 gift to the fund if we get 100 donations, no matter what the size of those donations are.
I want to do my part, and that is why I’m offering some of my own incentives to anyone who makes a donation during today’s fundraiser:
Anyone who donates at least $10 while using this link on Feb 25 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