Why I Do a Fundraiser For My Birthday Every Year

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I turned 25 the year that Donald Trump was inaugurated into office as the President of the United States. When that happened, I remember feeling very disheartened by the amount of negativity, divisiveness, fear, and hate he was spewing out into the world. It seemed so irresponsible and dangerous for him to speak the way he spoke, act the way he acted, and as I had dreaded and expected, he began to put policies into place that were designed to hurt people I loved and cared about.

I remember going to events and chanting “this is not normal” and promising myself that no matter what happened, I wouldn’t let myself allow his dangerous way of leading to become “normal” in my world. I felt that the moment I stopped keeping up with the news, the moment I wasn’t paying attention to his bad decisions and hateful policies, he and his followers would have won. I vowed that I wouldn’t forget how much I wanted myself to stay on top of it.

It’s now three years later and bad news comes every day. Dangerous policies against women and their rights & health are being written (and passed) every week, bans on transgender folks and immigrants are an every day thing, and there are actual Nazis marching in our own streets.

This is not in line with the values I was taught in school and by my family growing up, and on the day that this president was elected, I told myself I’d do everything in my power to defend the values that I find to be most American. I believe in the growing diversity of the United States. I believe that women and people of color should be lifted up, listened to, supported, and elected into office in our country. I believe that if we want to be considered the best country in the world, we really ought to start acting like it. Hate just doesn’t have a place in the America that I dream of.

All of this is to say that I believe in an America that is a safe place for its citizens, and right now that is under attack. And when this President was elected into office, I vowed to do what I can to end hate and discrimination in this country.

At times, it’s hard to stay on top of everything that is going on, which is why I’ve made the decision that at the very least, I will hold a birthday fundraiser each year to try to use the voice that I do have to make a difference. I may not be a celebrity who can raise millions, but I do feel like I should at least try to make a dent.

Each year, I’ve chosen a new cause to support. This year, I’ve chosen to work with The Trevor Project, which does amazing work with LGBTQ youth, which is a community I care about and am protective of, because there are plenty of folks who are in danger. The president and his cabinet have proven to be dangerous for LGBTQ people-- and that is dangerous for young people who are just starting to figure out their place in the world. I’m protective of those people and I want to help. The Trevor Project offers support to LGBTQ youth, and every dollar raised in my campaign goes straight to them :)

If you would like to help this cause, you can do two things:

  1. Make a donation to my page here-- any amount helps, seriously!

  2. Share my page with your friends and family who may want to donate :)

Thank you so much for reading, and happy pride to everyone out there!

Benjamin HawesComment