We have so much to be thankful for this year.
Over the summer, we collected enough votes on social media to win a $25,000 Neighborhood Assist grant from StateFarm™! A big thanks to volunteers Ellie, Meah, Ruben, Rachel & Drew and to all of you for voting, sharing and encouraging your friends to join the campaign!
During Pride month, we got to raise the Rainbow Flag at the Washington State Capitol with Governor Jay Inslee for the first time in Washington History!
In August, we hired our first Program Director, Jill Busby! Jill will be leading our in-school programming and trainings. We are so grateful for her natural leadership, expertise and sense of humor.
Volunteer Power: We held a dynamic 2-day volunteer training and now have 28 trained support group facilitators, many of whom are featured on our website.
In September, we launched Pizza Klatch in two new schools – Tenino and South Sound! Both schools are supported by great communities and have lots of excited youth participating. Tenino is being funded by our community partner, TOGETHER!, who also funds Pizza Klatch at Rainier High School. We are so grateful for this partnership.
Our board of directors is thriving, helping to lead our staff, raise funds and put necessary policies in place for our continued success. Congrats to Grace Meyer, our youth board member who graduated from Olympia High and is off to college.
We have been working hard to prepare for our 2nd Annual Gayla, “A Slice of the Good Life” which boasts entertainment from Chely Wright, first out lesbian in popular country music, and Richard Blanco, writer, storyteller and Obama’s 2013 inaugural poet. We are looking for sponsors and auction items to help this be a night to remember! Thank you to Local 443 and SPSCC for being our lead sponsors. Thank you to our Gayla team: Kelly, Drew, Lynn, Denali, Lee, Marissa, Tori, Cher, Steve & Doodle! We hope to see you there!
Visit PizzaKlatch.org/gayla for tickets!
Why Pizza Klatch?
From our 2014-15 survey, 90% of Pizza Klatch participants hear anti-LGBTQ+ slurs at school “sometimes or often” and 30% have experienced harassment or violence at school. Youth that attend Pizza Klatch also report experiencing high instances of trauma, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.
Pizza Klatch attendees report having experienced:
sexual assault or abuse (35%) physical assault or abuse (28%)
emotional abuse (83%) domestic violence (45%)
34% of attendees have made at least one attempt at suicide prior to attending Pizza Klatch.
70% have deliberately tried to harm themselves in the past.
29% have self-harmed because of their LGBTQ+ identity.
What Youth Are Saying
“I can be who I am here.”
“Pizza Klatch makes a difference in my week—someone is always there to listen.”
“Pizza Klatch has introduced me to problems at school that need to be fixed.”
“Pizza Klatch brings a positive image & hope for the future.” (More testimonials online!)
How Pizza Klatch Helps LGBTQ+ Youth and Allies
64% feel less isolated at school
71% feel more supported and listened to
44% feel safer at school
45% stand up when someone is being bullied
58% speak up when they hear slurs like “that’s so gay”
45% use less alcohol and/or drugs
39% feel they are more likely to graduate high school
88% have NOT harmed themselves again since attending Pizza Klatch
53% formed friendships that extend beyond school grounds
Thank you from all of us at Pizza Klatch!