SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains and advocates for programs, policies and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood. In addition to working in schools and communities across the DMV, SMYAL has a comprehensive housing program for homeless LGBTQ youth that provides safe and stable shelter, food, case management services, crisis intervention and community support for its residents.
COVID-19 has had a unique impact on queer and trans youth. While the way in which we do our work has shifted, SMYAL remains committed to our mission to support LGBTQ youth. To adhere with physical distancing measures, SMYAL's youth programs have shifted to online platforms that provide youth with affirming spaces, leadership training, and much-needed peer support. Through offering virtual programs, SMYAL is able to reach youth beyond the DMV who are looking for a community of their own.
For residents in our Youth Housing Program, SMYAL's housing team continues to provide round-the-clock resource navigation and case mamangement to support LGBTQ youth as they reach their goals of sustained independence. Because of our generous supporters, SMYAL was also able to provide residents in the Housing Program and over 150 youth at-risk of homelessness with emergency funds to help ease the finanacial burden of lost employment, loss of housing due to school closures, and leaving unsupportive homes during the pandemic.
Every dollar you donate helps sustain SMYAL's critical programs and services for queer and trans youth from as young as 6 through 24 years-old. When we invest in young LGBTQ people, we are sending them a message that their experiences matter and that we will be there to support them every step of the way.
SMYAL Fall Brunch Ambassadors are supporters of the organization who are fundraising to empower LGBTQ youth.
When you sign up as a Brunch Ambassador, it will only take a few minutes to set up your page and then you can share the page with your friends, family members, and coworkers to engage them in supporting LGBTQ youth. You are able to sign up as an Individual Ambassador or as part of an Ambassador Team.
Outstanding fundraisers will receive the perks below:
Bronze Benefits (raise $1,000+): Name recognition as an bronze ambassador during the event, invitation for two to attend VIP virtual event with special guests, name listed on event website, recognition in newsletter to SMYAL supporters, custom "brunch in a box" that contains all you need food and beverages for two to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, including special SMYAL logo items.*
Silver Benefits (raise $2,500+): Name recognition as a silver ambassador during the event, invitation for six to attend VIP virtual event with special guests, name listed on event website, recognition in newsletter to SMYAL supporters, custom "brunch in a box" that contains all you need food and beverages for six to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, including special SMYAL logo items.*
Gold Benefits (raise $5,000+): Name recognition as a gold ambassador during the event, invitation for eight to attend VIP virtual event with special guests, name listed on event website, recognition in newsletter to SMYAL supporters, custom "brunch in a box" that contains all you need food and beverages for eight to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, including special SMYAL logo items.*
*Please note that the Brunch in a Box will need to be picked up on October 10th from a location in northwest Washington, DC.