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With our 17th birthday coming up next week, I wanted to extend some deeply-deserved gratitude for our donors.
Our staff and volunteers do the bulk of the work here, to be sure. Our users play a very big part as well, particularly since Scarleteen works based on what they tell and show us about their wants and needs. But it's you, our donors and supporters, who keep the lights and computers on, coffee in the pot, warm socks on our feet and new tools, content and direct services flowing here at Scarleteen.
You're the champions of our model, our mission, and the young people who want and need what we provide; the people who don't just help us pay the bills, but who stand behind all that we do and the way that we do it. With a kind of work, like ours, that is so grossly unsupported, and even so intensely countered by some, knowing you stand behind us is a wonderful thing.
At the beginning of this year, our future was terribly uncertain. So many of you stepping up and stepping in with yRead more...
Today, like most days, our site has been up and running, including its tremendous archive; probably serving around 20,000 users by the end of the day. All of our direct services are live: our message boards, SMS service and live online chat. Myself and some of the volunteers are in the middle of creating new content, like one of our in-depth articles or advice columns. The daily and collective creative brainstorming, problem-solving, observing and reflecting that goes on behind the scenes amongst our staff and volunteers, and together with our users, can and will happen today. We are doing today just what we did yesterday, with no change.
That's because we did not have to strike. We did not have to slow or shut down any essential part of what we do. And that's because we now have the minimum funds we need in order to pay for them. That might well be because of you.
Thanks to a couple thousand generous people who themselves donated, did what they could to get the word out and find us hRead more...
UPDATE! We -- and you! -- did it! WE SO TOTALLY DID IT! We met the minimum goal we needed to to avoid a strike and having to shut down any of our services. We can't thank the 1,000+ of you enough who have helped us do this, and who have made it possible for all the young people who need and use our services to keep on using them without interruption.
Better still? A generous donor who wants Scarleteen to have more than the minimum to work with, and do what they can to get us past surviving and into thriving has offered up a $10,000 match for all donations given from April 15th to May 1st! So, anything you give now through May 1st will be matched, dollar for dollar, for up to $10,000 worth. If we can meet that whole match, that would shuttle us well out of our current crisis and into a better position financially than we have ever been. Thanks so much to everone who has already given to support us; thanks to you in advance for your gift, too!
UPDATE THE SECOND (now with extra awesoRead more...
I am 16 years old and already have a 7 month old baby. My son has a lot of health problems, he was born with a lung disease and has holes in his heart. I recently found out I was pregnant again and I'm not for sure how to go about it. I've only told one person and that's my older sister. I know for sure that I do not want to keep the baby but I don't have enough money for abortion and if I tell my dad it could turn out very bad. I live in Kentucky, and I am trying to figure out how to go about a judicial bypass and an abortion but I need help with money.
1. We are a fully pro-choice organization, resolutely supportive of everyone's -- at every age -- right (even when they legally do not currently have that right) to choose to remain pregnant or terminate a pregnancy; to choose to parent, to choose to arrange an adoption, or to choose abortion. We feel that any and all of those choices are potentially best and most positive for a given person who is pregnant, that no one is unilaterally better than the other for all people.
2. We recognize that unintended pregnancy can and does happen to anyone who can become pregnant; that it happens to those who use contraception and those who do not, that it happens to those who choose to engage in sex and those who were not given a choice, that it is not a "punishment" for anything, nor a mark of anyonRead more...
This is a guest post from sex educator Charlie Glickman, part of the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!
Imagine, for a moment, what the world would be like if we took the same approach to money as we do to sex. Imagine trying to hide all evidence of money from children, telling them that it’s not something they should know about. Imagine shaming them for asking questions about it, for expressing an interest in it, and for wanting to experiment with it. Imagine that you never explained how budgets work, or how to balance a checkbook, or how to pay for anything. Then, imagine that when they turn 18, handing them a credit card and saying “good luck with that.”
In essence, that’s what we do with sex.
Would you be surprised if those young adults didn’t know how to responsibly handle money? Would you be shocked if they ended up in crisis because they didn’t have the skills to take care of themselves? Would you think that their parents and schools had done their job?
If you ansRead more...
Many people have been asking about when our next peer sex educator training will be, and I'm sorry to say that I'm coming in with my founder and executive director hat on to deliver some not-so-awesome news about it.
We have a very long waiting list for another session of our training. I was hoping to be able to do another round this spring or summer, but as of right now, it simply will not be possible to do until late fall, and may even need to stay on hold until 2011.
I like to run the organization as transparently as possible, so I'll briefly explain what's up with the holdup. Long story short, there are three major factors right now which are the issue.
With the waiting list being so long, we want to train a larger group in than last time. But even with the small group that we had last year, it was clear that doing the training mostly on my own was very difficult, and I feel that shortchanged our trainees. So, I need some pro-bono help from a handful of other qualified educatorsRead more...
What's the typical use effectiveness rate for abstinence? All I can find anywhere, even at organizations that teach abstinence, or say it's the only effective method of contraception, is the perfect use rate. How well does it really work for people in real life? Why doesn't anyone have that information on this method when we do for every other method?
You probably know Scarleteen has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998. We have consistently provided free inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and support to millions for longer than anyone else online. We built the online model for teen and young adult sex education and have remained online for nearly eleven years to sustain, refine and expand it.
What you might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.
You also might not know Scarleteen is primarilyRead more...
As reported at Time Magazine this week, most of the United States has started to wise up about the ineffectiveness and bias of abstinence-only (which differs from abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education, both of which contain accurate and in-depth information on sex and sexual health, but which usually also make clear that forestalling sex or certain kinds of sex is often most safe) sex education pushed by the Bush administration, and which is funded by billions of taxpayer dollars to date, and $50 milRead more...