Year 4 of STRUT: truly among friends

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On June 9th, 2018 you all made what has come to be an annual pilgrimage – the collective gathering of friends old and new to attend the fourth annual STRUT. Foundation of Hope invited the community to help bring in funds to enable the cause. Caring and generous folks, more than willing to do your part as donors, we walked in solidarity for the cause.

We were joined by our corporate sponsors and partners, led foremost by TD Bank as a key partner and perennial contributor. TD’s donation of Aeroplan miles allowed us to bring our community partners out to participate this year, including representatives from Toronto’s Rainbow Railroad, a key partner to FOH, and The 519, which received its first grant from FOH last year. Montréal’s Centre de Solidarité Lesbienne also joined the event and is the first charity to receive FOH funding in Québec.

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Our invited community partners joined up with the local like-minded organizations FOH supports including Qmunity, MOSAIC, and VAST. All these organizations are doing important work to support local LGBT+ Newcomers.

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Equinox joined as a new arrival this year, presenting the iconic Stonewall Stiletto, which they had Shayne Oliver custom design from the original pleather banquettes in New York’s legendary Stonewall Inn – a nod to the commitment and pain of activists fighting for LGBT+ rights.

These evocative heels are such a fitting complement to STRUT, but they definitely won’t be seen prancing the seawall among an all outrageous manner of footwear donned by this year’s strutters.

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Foundation of Hope also welcomed the ongoing support of Vancouver’s own legendary John Fluevog, another perennial fave and supreme fit to our brand for STRUT, as well as new support this year from Body Energy Club. We also thank Telus for supplying a crew of volunteers to help us execute a flawless event, yet again.

Foundation of Hope thanks you all. We exist because of you. Without STRUT as an annual means of replenishing our fund, we simply could not continue to accomplish the goals of our Purpose:

Enhance the lives of LGBT+ Newcomers and their families through financial support to Canadian charitable organizations working directly with Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Newcomers to Canada, both nationally and internationally.

This year we managed to once again exceed $50,000. It took a lot of work, as it does every year, but these funds have never been more critical. That’s because early in 2018, FOH received a record number of applications. Requests came from civil society groups from Halifax to Nanaimo, seeking assistance with projects addressing sponsorship cases for LGBT+ Asylum Seekers and Refugees, as well as Newcomer community service projects.

The amount requested far exceeded the capacity of our fund. Because STRUT occurs in June, it meant FOH could only award a portion of the amount requested in the approved grants. It also meant having to reject grants through our Review Teams, which evaluate these applications.

Community members, many of whom are faithful donors, voluntarily sit on Review Teams with the FOH Grants Committee to collectively review and score every grant application we receive.

Foundation of Hope would prefer to award grants to all eligible applicants, but we anticipated the milestone where the need would outstrip our capacity to give. So it was important to have an objective means of approving some grants over others while being transparent and accountable to our donors.

STRUT is crucial to the success of the Rainbow Foundation of Hope. Financial stability is a primary objective to the long-term sustainability of this fund. It is intended to be a reliable means of support for the charitable work being done to assist LGBT+ migrants fleeing persecution across the world.

It takes time and effort for FOH to administer these grants as a 100% volunteer organization, but the ongoing contributions from reliable donors are just as vital. Help us to be there for Canadian charities when they need assistance to do this important work.

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DONATE and become a standing monthly donor today. It means the world to us all.

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