Bonnie J. Buntain
During December, Gays, Lesbians, and Allies at SaddleBrooke (GLAAS) held a gift drive and a donation event for the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th Street of Tucson, a part of the nonprofit organization SAAF. The youth center provides a safe environment for LGBTQ+ and allied youth ages 13 through 24 to visit to access a variety of services to support their health, well-being, and social justice. Fewer than 50% of LGBTQ+ local youth say they have an adult in their family they could turn to for help. SAAF provides LGBTQ+ and allied youth programs related to substance abuse prevention, sexual health education, HIV prevention education, suicide prevention, the arts, and more.
Hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothes, personal hygiene products, household items, kitchen supplies, toys, gift cards, and new or gently used clothes were donated by GLAAS members. Special thanks to Bill and Linnea Boaz for volunteering to be our drop-off location and Vince Biase and Dona Ferry for transporting the donated items to SAAF in time for Christmas. Thanks also to Barbara Starrett and Jo Ann Ellison for hosting the Dec. 10 Holiday Fundraiser party at their home and to Mike Buckley for tending bar through the evening. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and to a matching gift by Barbara Starrett, GLAAS raised $5,200 to support the work of SAAF.