Jennifer Beals has issued a statement to the OurChart community, and OurChart was nice enough to share with Lesbiatopia. Without further ado, a message from Jennifer Beals:
For me, the essence of OurChart is community. And not just the lesbian community or the LGBT community or the women's community or the various labels one might apply to the array of profiles intersecting on this site. It's about a community of concerned human beings, engaged around the rights and issues that affect the dignity, politics, progress and health of our collective human future.
Communities, especially ones so dynamic and passionate as this one here, have the power to effect change -- especially when they gather together around a cause to help others. I've witnessed your combined efforts first hand, when last spring, a generous group of you raised donations for Happy Trails Farm to rescue a Percheron horse from slaughter and, in honor of my love of horses, named her "AlphaBette." Thank you.
On September 1st, I'll be participating in my first Olympic-distance triathlon. Inspired by the three legs of the competition (a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike course and a 10K run), I've selected three charities to raise funds for -- and am calling out to you, the OurChart community -- to join me in supporting these organizations.
I hope you'll take some time to read about the incredible work each charity performs and consider making a donation. Your contributions will be made directly to the organization or organizations of your choice.
And stay tuned, as I'll be checking back with OurChart to provide contribution updates and a post-race report.
PS: Did I mention I'm terrified?
Here are the three charities that Jennifer has selected to raise money for.
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles-Center For Cancer & Blood Diseases
The Center is one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology programs in the nation. Breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancer, many pioneered at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, offer children, teenagers and young adults the most advanced treatment available anywhere. Your donation supports the Center's vital services for children and families, research for cures and new therapies, and training of future scientists and caregivers.
Donate to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Matthew Shepard Foundation
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.
Donate to Matthew Shepard Foundation
I Live Here Foundation
The I Live Here Foundation is dedicated to telling the stories of silenced and unheard people through a series of books and other media projects about our world. It establishes creative writing programs in areas where it works, building an artistic dialogue between strangers with the belief that art is a means of survival.
The I Live Here Foundation is spearheaded by the extraordinary Mia Kirshner, J.B. MacKinnon, Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge. Its first book, I Live Here, will be published by Pantheon Books in October 2008 and launched in conjunction with a creative writing program in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Coming in 2009: I Live Here begins its next series on books and launches a creative writing program within a brothel in Burma.
Donate to I Live Here Foundation
Personally, my idea of a triathlon is floating in the pool for three hours, riding my beach cruiser along the bike path and running after the ice cream truck. I give Jennifer Beals credit for doing such a tough event. She chose three amazing charities that mean a lot to her and hopefully you'll find some meaning in them too. Please donate if you can, even $5 or $1 is better than nothing. Every little bit helps!
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