On the evening of Thursday, December 17th, Foundation of Hope received a wonderful gift: an unsolicited Christmas fundraiser organized by Christopher Steffler at Mercury Artists. It was a fine evening with talented musicians, all of whom donated their time and showcased their skills.
One of the greatest things about events like this, aside from the generosity of those present, is that it provides an opportunity for people to reflect on the freedom we have in Canada. Such freedom of expression is not evident in vast regions of the world.
At this time, Canada has a heightened sense of the Syrian refugee crisis. Less apparent to many is the treatment of those that identify as LGBT+, many of whom are still under acute persecution, as well as those that have managed to seek some form of asylum.
Beyond the plight of the Syrian LGBT+ community, at least 78 countries still exist under laws that view homosexuality as criminal. This makes it extremely dangerous for queer individuals to behave outside of what the majority of their societies view as “normal”.
Most individuals under persecution have been unable to flee to safety. Many have died or have been severely traumatized. They attempt to survive by keeping a low profile while others are singled out and frequently get verbally and physically assaulted by haters. Such hatred is the true crime.
Foundation of Hope endeavours to help Canadian charities that work to assist LGBT+ individuals seeking asylum from hatred and persecution, as well as LGBT+ newcomers that are currently under resettlement in Canada.
As part of the event, Chad Mathew of Outlook TV interviewed me as a representative of FOH. It was a great opportunity to talk about why ongoing fundraising is such an important pillar of success – just as important as our mission of giving. The interview will be available online some time in January 2016.
Foundation of Hope is incredibly grateful to Mercury Artists for its generosity of spirit at this time of year. The “Family Affair” Holiday Party and Fundraiser is tremendously appreciated by us and everyone we hope to assist through our collective efforts.