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Colage

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Intergroup & Race Relations, Leadership Development, Race, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Colage unites people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer parents into a network of peers and supports them as they nurture and empower each other to become skilled, self-confident, and just leaders in our collective communities. The organization accomplishes this work through national programs for youth and families, virtual communities and online resources, regional and local chapters, published resources for families, educators, social services and lgbtq service organizations, social justice leadership training for youth ages 8-25 including integrated youth leadership in the organization through the youth advisory board, affinity support groups such as kids of trans, advocacy for lgbtq families through strategic partnerships, and other resources, serving thousands of youth in lgbtq families annually.

Programs: Family week & social justice programming: colage provides forums, gatherings, and programming for youth who have one or more lgbtq parent, with our largest annual program being family week. Family week is a partnership with the family equality council to provide programming for over 150 families and their children for one week in provincetown, ma. For colage, this program serves as an incubator space to build and develop programs that are then brought to other local communities around the u. S.

national chapters: national chapters, including virtual communities, are local communities coming together to support people who have one or more lgbtq parent. These communities vary in size, demographic makeup, and programming, but core to this work is a social justice curriculum that colage has developed. This curriculum supports facilitated meeting, programs, and workshops that provide local communities with the tools to be a sustainable, community- based group that provides community, empowerment, education, and advocacy for people with lesbian, gay, bisexeual, transgender, and/or queer (lgbtq) parents.

youth leadership: colage is committed to empowering the next generation of change makers and has two key programs to support this work. The colage youth advisory board is an ongoing leadership group of young people who provide program input as well as produce a weekly blog, the kidsafe blog, a safe space for outreach, education, and support for people with lgbtq parents. Colage provides ongoing leadership training through summits, mentoring, and opportunities to practice facilitation skills in our national programs. All of colage youth programs are also facilitated by people with lgbtq parents, creating a environment of trust, shared experiences, and community.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

COLAGE is the oldest and largest national organization for people with at least one or more LGBT parents in the country. For over 25 years, COLAGE has delivered highly impactful and quality programming nationwide (including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, South Florida, and with a recent expansion in the South!), developed strong networks and a sense of community, and has activated a generation of young people who have become social agents that will change the world. I've known COLAGE for 7 years and have worked with this organization for nearly 5 and I couldn't be prouder of its work as the current Board President.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

As one of the only organizations in the country focused on truly intersectional development within the LGBTQ community, COLAGE is one of the most important institutions for our present and future children. I cannot wait to see my own children flourish in the empowering environment that has been created at COLAGE and will continue to donate each month to ensure that moment arrives in the near future.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

COLAGE is an organization powered by its strong and engaged constituency- people with LGBTQ parents and their families. I have been a volunteer, intern, participant, and donor for years. I have supported COLAGE for more than 10 years because it listens to its members and continues to adapt. It is absolutely an organization that changes lives, it certainly changed mine.

Review from Guidestar

Avi S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a client, a donor, and a volunteer for COLAGE over the years. And I can honestly say it has been one of the most fundamental organizations in my development as an advocate and an activist. I really cannot stress enough how much I learned from being a part of COLAGE activities and workshops. It is the least I can do to continue to donate part of my paycheck every month and volunteer for this incredible organization every chance I get.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I brought our son to COLAGE's Family Week since he was old enough to participate. He is now, at the age of 20, a facilitator for Family Week. COLAGE has provided for him a forum to bond with children (now adults) of other LGBT parents. Through Family Week our son has forged friendships with fellow COLAGErs that will no doubt remain forever. There is absolutely no other event of its kind in this country or probably anywhere else. COLAGE has done, year after year, such a wonderful job with Family Week and the many other events it sponsors throughout the year. Thank you. COLAGE!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I learned about Colage at a recent LGBT conference and was quite impressed with the uniqueness of its mission. I am a corporate diversity manager, and I had not yet heard of a group that focuses on helping children of LGBT parents. It's a niche we in the LGBT community rarely think of off the top of our heads. I also liked that they proactively sought me out after the conference to request that I share best practices - that shows a commitment to continuous improvement!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My story is about our family that has two lesbian moms and two daughters ages 14 and 11. Since 2001 we have been attending Family Week in Provincetown, Massachusetts to be with other families like ours. My wife and I had been vacationing there since 1986 before we had children. It is a town like no other place where we can openly be ourselves, relax with friends, visit beaches, and enjoy Cape Cod.

When we began our family in our home city of Springfield, Massachusetts, we couldn't wait to attend Family Week in Ptown. When our children were old enough to attend the COLAGE events, they couldn't wait to spend time with their peers that had gay or lesbian parents. They enjoyed this time each day to share their experiences, hear about challenges of other children from around the country. They felt less isolated or singled out for having a 'different' type of family. They now are in the high school and middle school groups where the conversations get more intense because of the intensity of peer relationships at school, on the playing field, or in social events. COLAGE has helped each of them feel more confident with how they communicate with their friends about their family, know they can be proud of their family, and teach the community at home about gay/lesbian issues. It actually makes them emotionally stronger knowing they can call upon the experiences with COLAGE to deal with similar events they participate in their daily lives.

As a consistent donor, we feel lucky to be able to help support this organization because it's a vital part of our children's development and well-being. Our daughters have email addresses, phone numbers of the friends they've made at Family Week and look forward to seeing them each year. It's a part of our vacation that cannot be eliminated, because I believe it would be devastating to our girls. I wish we had Family Week more often in our own community. We're trying to form a local chapter, but it's difficult to draw several children to them because the distance where families live. That is why Family Week in Ptown is so special-- the enormous number of gay/lesbian families that unite and celebrate our bonds for the week!!

Review from Guidestar

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently I had to write something for college about my proudest moment, and this is what I wrote: One of my proudest moments happened this summer when I was a volunteer staffer for COLAGE. I worked with the younger age group, who unfortunately, most of the time, weren't very interested in the knowledge that we were trying to pass forward to them, but were more interested in playing tag. Towards the end of the week we have show and tell, and one of the groups was a sign language group. They did the signs to the song "Joy to the World," and I found myself bawling half way through the performance. The youth were amazing and to see them signing the words to that song made me see how much COLAGE does for our community. Being a staffer at COLAGE is on the top of my list for the most rewarding things I have done in my life. COLAGE helped me grow and has helped make me into the strong women I am today, and I can't wait to do that for other COLAGErs. COLAGE is an organization thats worth is priceless. COLAGE helps children grow and makes them aware of concepts that other children may not even be exposed to until they are young adults.