As all of you know, all of Scarleteen -- the website, and all our direct services, including the local in-person presentations we do for youth -- are, and always have been, provided for free.
You've probably figured out, though, that it still costs us to provide those things.
Most organizations and websites that serve as many people as we do in the ways we serve people have major funding from an organization, institution, corporation or foundation: from someone with the big bucks, in a word, or who provides the resources they use, like their tech development, server costs, promotional costs, the cost of staffing, etc. Some have federal or state funding.
We've never had any of those things, and we've served more people than many similar organizations that work with our issues and serve the number of people we do with a yearly budget that's about the same as the family income of just one small family. And that's SO much lower than the budget of any other organization we know of like ours, it's kind of staggering when you know all the numbers.
There's a lot to say about all of that, and for any of you interested in more details, we're happy to share what we can with you. But I'll cut to the chase: what I'm doing today is asking for your help.
I'm not asking for any of you who are young people to make a donation: we remain very, very dedicated to serving young people for free because we think you're entitled to sex education and it shouldn't be something you have to pay for. We think that the adults in and around your lives should be the ones providing this to you, both in-person, with their own efforts, and by helping to support services like ours which either support the information and support those people are giving you, or give it to you when they aren't.
2) Just tell other people about Scarleteen and link them to it. Not only does that connect more people to the same information and services you've benefitted from, which is obviously a great thing to give to others, the more new eyes we have here, the more the word keeps spreading about what we do, which means more people who can potentially donate seeing us and recognizing our value. We hear so many people say they wish they had found us sooner: telling others about us helps other people do just that.
We do NOT, however, want you to do anything that puts your privacy or safety at risk.
If using any part of Scarleteen is something you keep 100% to yourself because not doing so makes you feel very overexposed, or you think you'd be unsafe, we absolutely understand that promoting us or our request for support might not work for you. That's okay: we get it. But for those who aren't in that position, we ask that you please help, particularly bearing in mind that some of our users really can't help, especially because for some of them, that might involve outing themselves as LGB or trans, as having been assaulted or abused, as sexually active when in their social context or community, they'd be bullied or harassed.
We try to ask as little as possible of all of you as we can, so we hope you know that we only ask for things like this when it is critically important.
We really, really need your help. That's why we're asking now.
We want to continue to be around as we have for the last 13 years to do all we do for you here, and have done, and that involves more than an extra cup of coffee or the small group of us who stubbornly keep working so hard to be here for you despite our lack of resources. If only all we needed to keep going was more coffee and more determination!
It means a lot when the young people who use our site and services tell others the value it has for them directly. So often we have to speak for you, when we'd rather not, if nothing else, out of respect for the fact that you have your own voices. When you say that you got what you needed here it carries a lot more weight then it does when I or our volunteers say it.
Thanks so much, in advance, for any way you can help. We wish we didn't have to ask, but we do: we want to make sure we're doing everything within our power to keep doing all we do for you.
And again, if you've any questions, or have creative strategies you want to talk about, we'd be happy to talk in more detail and appreciate your interest.
P.S. We suspect some of the people who read this will have used Scarleteen when they were younger people, but are older people now. If that's you, we ARE asking you to please consider a donation. We probably don't have to tel you the value of what we do, and you would probably feel pretty great about making sure young people now keep having what you did as a young person. Thanks!
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 65636 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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