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‘Backpack’ returns to Piedmont Park

After two years in drought-caused exile, Backpack in the Park returns to its original home in Piedmont Park on Aug. 1 with a bigger event and bigger goals than ever before.

Backpack in the Park is one of two annual signature events hosted by For the Kid in All of Us, a nonprofit founded in 2003 to bring gay men, lesbians and gay rights allies together to help underprivileged children.

Backpack in the Park provides thousands of students with backpacks and school supplies. After collecting 1,600 supply-filled backpacks last year in Grant Park, For the Kid President Jorge Esteban wants to beat that record this year.

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GA Spotlight: Project LifeVest

In April, Derrick Martin, a gay teen from Cochran, Ga., was asked to leave home after publicity surrounding his decision to take his boyfriend to the high school prom. On July 12, Martin launched Project LifeVEST to help other LGBT people in similar situations.

States the new group’s website: “Our mission is simple: ‘To be a helping hand, a life vest, to as many LGBTQ teens and adults as possible. We will carry out this mission through the establishment of safe places in as many cities as possible; through opening a call center with a qualified and well-educated and experienced team of counselors who can give advice and guidance where needed; through finding qualified and screened families who can, if the need arises, host rejected teens while they finish schooling or find a new place.’”

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GA Spotlight: GLBT Seniors Advocacy of Georgia

Aging isn’t easy for anyone, but LGBT seniors face additional challenges: Many pension programs and government services like Social Security don’t recognize same-sex spouses, gay couples may fear not being able to be “out” in nursing homes and assisted living programs, and many older LGBT people don’t have adult children or other family members who often care for aging relatives.

Helping LGBT elders navigate these and other issues is the mission of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Seniors Advocacy of Georgia.