UPDATED 9.30PM: Donations and offers of assistance are picking up pace as the national glbt community mobilises to save the financially stressed OUTLine counseling and support service, with $5,000 of the targeted $30,000 already pledged. Making the largest donation so far towards stabilising the finances of the cash-strapped OUTLine national glbt phone counseling and support service, the Wellington-based Chrissie Witoko Trust has this evening voted $2,000 to the just-launched fundraising drive, OUTLine October. "The Trust supports the work of Outline," say trustees Jacquie Grant, Malcolm Vaughan, Scott Kennedy, Dana De Milo, Trevor Lawlor, Howard Pond and Helen Darwick, "and we would be disappointed to see this work curtailed." Grant has this evening also announced a personal donation of $500 from her business, New Zealand Autoknitter Ltd. The Malcolm Pacific immigration consultancy has also offered to match donations from the Gay Auckland Business Association, thus pledging an immediate $1,000. Drag performers and community stalwarts Buffy and Bimbo have dipped into their beaded purses to donate $500 and other organisations and businesses are understood to be nearing announcing donations. In addition, events are being planned and goods and services offered in support of a just-announced OUTLine October fundraising month organised by a small group of gay and lesbian businesspeople and entrepreneurs who came together after GayNZ.com early last week revealed the scale of OUTLine's financial problems. The aim of the fundraising project is to provide bridging finance to avoid the General Manager position being de-established and to head off proposed plans for retrenching services until more structured funding can be locked in. Updated on the fundraising progress this afternoon, OUTLine chair Lorraine Martin says she and the board are "humbled by the support and generosity of the glbt community." She says the energy being committed to ensuring their volunteer counselors can continue their work "is an encouragement and recognition of what they do and what some of them have been doing for decades." GayNZ.com is maintaining a live and daily updated feature section detailing the project, how people and organisations can assist and reporting plans and developments. So far a Saturday October 3rd 24hr bucket collection at most glbt venues nationwide, a collection at a glbt-friendly dance party and a slave auction have been announced. The OUTLine October 'thermometer' on GayNZ.com's front page will give a real time depiction of progress throughout October towards the $30,000 goal.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Saturday, 26th September 2009 - 2:43pm
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