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 2020 event to Rainbow Railroad.
In addition to our world-wide chosen charity, World Bear Weekend also plans to support The Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo is a 35-acre zoo in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in North America. It is also one of a few free admission zoos in the United States. The zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Lincoln Park Zoo is a privately managed institution that depends primarily on the support of its visitors, members and donors to remain open and free every day. More than two-thirds of the zoo’s operating budget is provided by revenue from its food service, retail shops, parking, and fund-raising activities. The remaining portion is provided by a fixed annual subsidy from the Chicago Park District. Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience in the heart of Chicago and by advancing the highest quality of animal care, education, science and conservation.