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LGBTQ group raising money to help local youth

A rainbow-colored heart decorating Inside Out's living room area
Posted at 11:47 AM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 14:00:17-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Tuesday is Give Out Day, the only national day of fundraising designated for the LGBTQ community.

For the first time, the local nonprofit Inside Out is being recognized by being included in the national fundraiser.

Inside Out, located on North Wahsatch Avenue, is now celebrating its 30th Anniversary. In honor of that milestone, Inside Out is hoping to raise $3,000. So far, they have raised $1,000.

The organization says the funding is especially critical right now because many of their grants have been scaled back due to COVID-19.

News5 caught up with Joseph Shelton, who came to Inside Out as an LGBTQ youth himself and was hired to oversee its programs.

Some of those programs and workshops are focused on suicide prevention, and all of them encourage LGBTQ youth to reach their potential by teaching them how to lead healthy lives - and helping them feel accepted.

"Programs like this getting funded [are] helping to make it so that we can bring anyone through our doors," Shelton explained. "[We can] help them get that support that they need, get that guidance they need. They will be accepted for who they are."

Funding also helps stock Inside Out's food pantry. Although no one can visit the physical location, volunteers and staff members are taking this food and delivering it to youth across town who need it.

Inside Out has grown its staff throughout the years, from two to eight people. Back in the 90s, they started off helping 20 youth, and now they help more than 600 youth a year.

For more information on how to donate, click here.

RELATED: National day of fundraising for LGBTQ nonprofits approaches