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We are 15 years old today. FIFTEEN! (In internet years, that's like being 500.)
We debuted online on December 15th, 1998 and here we are, still rolling, and wanting to keep on rolling some more, in 2013.
I can't thank our donors and supporters, all our volunteers past and present, and the tens of millions of users who have been the heart and soul of what we do, with them and for them, enough for being part of this grand experiment in sexuality education and emerging technologies. So much of Scarleteen is a community, and we have been blessed with a large, deeply diverse and incredible group over the years, one which has challenged, inspired, moved and motivated all of us, myself very much included. As the founder and executive director of Scarleteen, all of you have benefitted my own life, and been part of something I gladly consider the core of my life's work.
We intend to keep at what we do for at least another fifteen years if we can, experimenting and innovating, exploring and developing this project of ours which is often hailed as one of the most reliable, creative, caring and committed sources of sexual health, sexuality and relationships information, education and support for young people, both online and off.
Despite our giant reach and long tenure, Scarleteen has never had any federal, institutional or foundational funding: donations, great and small, from generous donors and caring supporters are what have kept our doors open (well, that and an awful lot of coffee and stubbornness) the last fifteen years, and what will continue to keep them open.
If you are able, today, to make a donation to help get us started on our next fifteen years of service, you know by now that we are more than good for it. We continue to need that help and support, and it sure would make an awesome birthday present!
If you are one of our users, past or present, we would love to hear from you in the comments here. Tell us about what we have offered you, how it impacted your life, how you use any part of what we do now, even wishes you've got for what we can do moving forward. Give a shoutout to a volunteer or staff member who helped you out in direct services, or wrote something you really needed to read. Thank a fellow user who gave you great support. Let our donors know that their gifts benefitted you.
Hearing from all of you is always valuable, and again, you are at the core of every choice we make with the site and the organization; all of you are why we came here in the first place, stayed here for a decade and a half, and keep showing up every day still, excited to work together.
A very happy birthday to us, and from me to all of you -- our users, our volunteers, staff and guest contributors, our donors and supporters -- the biggest of thank you's and the very tastiest of cupcakes for being a part of Scarleteen.
(Image courtesy of and copyright 2013, Isabella Rotman)