JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fundraiser started by pop superstar Ariana Grande is making a big impact on a Jacksonville group that helps LGBTQIA+ youth.
Grande launched the fundraiser in April, telling her 328 million Instagram followers, “right now there are hundreds of disgraceful bills pending in state legislature that target trans youth and aim to curb their rights. This will provide critical funds to organizations advocating for the rights of trans youth.”
The 29-year-old singer said she would match all funds in the online fundraiser up to $1.5 million and named Jacksonville-based JASMYN as one of 18 organizations that would receive the money. JASMYN said its mission is to support the empowerment of LGBTQIA+ young people through leadership, advocacy, resources and a safe and affirming community.
JASMYN told News4JAX that it now gets monthly checks from the fundraiser and has received more than $147,000 so far.
CEO Cindy Watson said 2022 has been a big year for unsolicited funders finding JASMYN.
“Because the environment for LGBTQIA+ rights for folks of all ages has deteriorated, and donors and activists who understand the danger that creates, especially for our young people, have opened their hearts,” Watson said.
JASMYN said it also received a major unsolicited gift whose funds were raised through social media earlier this year from author Glennon Doyle and two more during Pride Month from donors who were new to the organization.
The group said Grande’s generous donation will be used to expand programs for students, including more on-campus support, satellite groups, support for student GSAs and connections to an onsite mental health program.
For more about the group’s work, visit JASMYN.org.