HAWTHORNE, NJ – The Hawthorne Pride Alliance, established in June of this year, announced that it has formed a partnership with the Essex LGBT Reaching Adolescents in Need (RAIN) Foundation to sponsor a socks and underwear collection for homeless LGBTQ youth.

“LGBTQ+ youth represent as much as 40% of the homeless youth population and studies indicate that as many as 60% are likely to attempt suicide,” the Hawthorne Pride Alliance said in a statement.  “Homelessness is often the result of a combination of factors and the leading factor for LGBTQ+ youth is identity-based family rejection.  RAIN is a non-profit organization in East Orange, NJ that provides emergency shelter service to address the emergent needs of LGBT individuals experiencing crisis leading to homelessness.”

The drive will be held on November 21 at the Hawthorne Municipal Building between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

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The Pride Alliance said that while homeless shelters are always in need of money, they are “most often in need of small things that many of us may take for granted: underwear and socks.  While sheltering on the street, there are few opportunities to remove shoes and socks and it is often difficult to find a place to shower. Providing these essentials for someone that may have recently left home or has been sleeping on the street is a step toward rebuilding confidence and pride.”

For those who wish to donate, the Pride Alliance is asking for new, packaged socks, underwear, and bras as well as winter coats, cleaning products, non-perishable food, and paper products.  Additionally, RAIN has established an Amazon “wish list” which donors can use to have products delivered directly.  The link is here: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/36F4S5V4LCRTA?ref_=wl_share

The Alliance's collection represents the third public event the Pride Alliance has hosted since its creation.  The first was its September 23 debut at the Municipal Building with Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino as keynote speaker, followed by Jennifer Ehrentraut's presentation on anti-bullying held on October 28.

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