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Hey, Scarleteen Donors: You Rule!

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 y

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Shame & Stigma: How It Makes Young Moms and Dads Feel

As a young parent, being shamed for the decisions you have made and being stigmatized for your identity makes navigating through the world -- and pregnancy and parenting -- much more difficult.

Is 13 the "Right" Age for Sex or Romance?

Gabbii777 asks:

I'm wondering what a good age to have a 'relationship' is? I'm 13 and I've sort of began to have stronger attractions both emotionally and physically to boys. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a relationship and I'm scared that if it doesn't work (for example, if I'm frigid or something) it will ruin our friendship. I know it's not much of a big deal but I just want some help and reassurance.

Glyde Condoms Supports Scarleteen!

We've got two new budding partnerships with condom distributors and resellers we're really excited about.

While ultimately, we would prefer Scarleteen be a place where there is no advertising, having a little bit, from carefully chosen companies or organizations, is one of the things that can help keep us financially supported. And in this case, we are delighted to be doing advertising with ethical companies who produce or sell things most of our readers very much need now, or will need soon: condoms and other barriers that can help prevent sexually transmitted infections and diseases and unwanted pregnancies, and help free up some worries so everyone can feel more relaxed in their sexual lives. We're proud to be working with these companies, and could not be more glad to have ways to direct our users not only to barriers, but to great barriers, made well, that protect their health and also support them in finding pleasure in their sexual lives.

Today we want to introduce you to one

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From a Strike to a Home Run: A Thank You (and also a nudge, but just a little one)

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 h

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#Scarleteenalums: Can You Speak Up To Help Out?

Someone had told me Scarleteen was the best place on the internet for sexual health info, and I see now that they were completely right. It's the scariest feeling in the world to not know what's going on with your own body, and even worse to feel like you have no one you can talk to about it. I am thanking Jeebus, the Easter Bunny and Hare Krishna that people like you exist. - Brigitte

We're getting into the final stretches of our current fundraising campaign, the one we very much hope will start to turn things around for us financially, and help us continue all of our services, rather than having to cut them back or shut them down.

We know our readers and users -- sometimes as many as five million of in a year, all around the world -- know and appreciate our value.

Many of you have expressed that to us over the years, and we've always been so glad to know how much we've helped when you needed it. That's what we aim to do! We also have users check back in with us as the years pass, an

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The Scarleteen Safety Plan

If you're in an abusive relationship, to make abuse stop you've got to get away and stay away. Here's help to do that safely, and to be as safe as you can before leaving.

Of Condom Charity and Open Houses

As you may have read a few weeks ago, we are in dire straits when it comes to sustaining all that we do here at Scarleteen, and need more support to do so now.  Since we put out that call, we've raised around half of what we need to keep doing all we currently do, thanks to a few hundred generous individuals. Thanks so much to everyone who has given us your help so far!

However, halfway there is only halfway there. When I was in my teens, I was offered a 50% scholarship to the college I most wanted to attend: that was one hell of a scholarship, but attending meant I needed 100% of the tuition, not 50%. That 50% all by itself couldn't, and didn't, get me there.

Halfway won't get us to where we need to be, either. We need to be at that 100% by May 1st, or at least see enough new donors giving in ways we are pretty sure will be more than one-time by then to be sure that within the year, we absolutely will get there.

We're doing our part to get creative about this and find new supporters,

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A couple quickies (not the fun kind)

Just posting to make a quick addition to this post to clarify a couple important things.

While people are being mostly incredibly supportive of us right now -- and we can't thank you enough, but will do our best to try in another post soon where we can talk about nothing but how awesome some of you are -- we've seen a few comments out and about that either aren't so supportive, but which also advance some misunderstandings or misinformation.

I want to make sure we address them so we can all be on the same page. These are the two statements or sentiments -- which are probably just based in false assumptions -- I want to address:

1) We're in this spot because clearly we have just needed someone to do fundraising full-time from or for our organization, and we are silly not to know that.

We so need that! In other words, we agree! Just not with the silly part.

Labor costs money, and professional fundraisers, particularly, do not come cheap. We don't have money. We have never had that ki

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May Day 2014: Scarleteen Strikes (Or, With Your Help, We Don't.)


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 aweso

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