Monday, January 25, 2010
Photo courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch Article
Dear Archbishop Robert J. Carlson;
Show Me No Hate is a volunteer organization dedicated to achieving full marriage equality in Missouri and across the country. In response to your personal decision to send $10,000 from “private gifts” of the Catholic Church to fund the anti-marriage equality ballot initiative in Maine, the members of Show Me No Hate assembled peacefully in front of the St. Louis Basilica on November 29th to inform the public of your choice. After receiving messages of support from the community and many of your own parishioners, the rallies were continued to share the message peacefully during Advent.
Amidst the peaceful and collaborative discussions held during the rallies in front of the Basilica, several demonstrators discussed what COULD have been done with $10,000. The 10,000 for Charity drive was created to demonstrate the beneficial and benevolent uses for which your funds could have been used to help those in need within the St. Louis area. The goal of 10,000 items was chosen to provide the most avenues of giving for our community members.
The 10,000 for Charity goal date was set for January 18th in honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to many of us still carrying on the struggle. Until there is marriage equality for all citizens, we will continue to fight for our civil rights.
On Martin Luther King Day (January 18th), the 10,000 for Charity drive reached and exceeded the goal! To date, there are more than 11,000 items that have been distributed to local charities and many items are still streaming in (clothing, food, toys, hygiene and household products). Clearly, the value of the 11,000 (and growing) items collected exceeds $10,000, especially to the charitable organizations working directly with those in need. The four charities chosen were: Karen House (an LGBT friendly Catholic safe house), the Guardian Angel Settlement, Operation Food Search, and the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.
The members of Show Me No Hate and others in the St. Louis community, through the 10,000 for Charity drive, have demonstrated their desire to put their available resources where they can help people instead of supporting a fight that discriminates against people. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Our hope is that in the future when you are faced with a choice of where to appoint your discretionary funds, please consider the words of Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow and a prominent civil rights leader of her own accord, when she said, “all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance, and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.”
10,000 for Charity
Show Me No Hate