In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people still live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives. They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality. Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe. In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBT people as they seek safe haven from state enabled violence, murder or persecution. Through funds collected by people like you, we’re able to support, provide information, and help to arrange safe transportation for these LGBT people to somewhere in the world where they can live their lives in safety.
Rainbow Railroad versus other charities is that you have a tangible and immediate impact. By donating to Rainbow Railroad, you help us provide information and support to LGBT individuals living in fear and isolation due to government and police supported persecution and violence. In many cases we are also able to provide funds to help individuals get to safe or safer countries for LGBT people. This can include funds to cover the cost of travel documents, airfare, and basic needs while individuals are in hiding or preparing to leave to a safer country. World Bear Weekend will donate 75% of our proceeds (after expenses) from our 2019 event to Rainbow Railroad.
In addition to our world-wide chosen charity, World Bear Weekend also plans to support St Jude Children’s Hospital, in memory of Dennis Murray, one of our first-year contestants who died from cancer in 2018. While battling stage 4 cancer during his competition, Dennis was a very proud advocate of St Jude, and their mission. World Bear Weekend is honored to continue our support for this amazing charity again in 2019.
The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of their founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. Unlike any other hospital, the majority of their funding comes from individual contributions. And thanks to generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude.