2015 News!

2015 Pizza Klatch News

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!

Give Big on Giving Tuesday!

Give Big Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is right around the corner --- but what does it all mean?

If you celebrate holidays in December, and even if you don't, you are likely aware of the shopping catastrophes in malls and stores nation-wide. What used to be consolidated into one day: Black Friday, has now reached back to Thanksgiving Day, which is turning into a HUGE shopping day for many big-box stores. Thanksgiving is still followed by Black Friday where many attempt to fight through crowds to get the best deals. Shopping continues over the weekend and is followed by Cyber Monday, where folks may even sleep at their laptops in order to be the first to click "buy". Although shopping trends continue to change, we're also seeing a large spike in more people "Opting Out" of the Holiday craze.

Whether you are a shopper or not, there is still an important opportunity for you that arrives on December 1, 2015, to pull out your wallet.

This year, make sure you add Giving Tuesday on your calendar - a day where you are encouraged to give back by donating to local charities and nonprofits!

giving tuesday 2015We have a few generous donors who have offered to match up to $10,000 of donations given on this day, so your gift will get even more mileage!

It's easy, you are just a few clicks away from giving a secure online donation for Giving Tuesday and providing pizza and support to LGBTQ+ teens. You can give at www.pizzaklatch.org/givingtuesday.

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Thank you!

Jessica McKimmie

Executive Director (far left in the photo above from Capital City Pride '15)

 

 

 

Pizza Klatch launches at Tenino and South Sound!

Pizza Klatch Tenino

As we kick off Pizza Klatch for the 2015-16 school year, we'll be serving more pizza and support in Thurston County schools. We are excited to announce new partnerships with Tenino High School and South Sound High School, bringing confidential support and resources to 30 new LGBTQ+ youth and allies every week.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 5.38.48 PMSouth Sound is a small alternative high school in Lacey that has been eagerly anticipating their chance to start Pizza Klatch. Old School Pizzaria is providing discounted pizza to the South Sound group each week.

"The first time I was late with the pizza, one of the students said, I don't really care if you bring lunch, I'm just glad you're here," said Bryan Butler, volunteer facilitator at South Sound High School. "That one actually stopped me up short."

Shawn Harris, South Sound's licensed social worker and school counselor added, "The students have bonded through the group and have become great supports for one another. Pizza Klatch is definitely something I look forward to each week!"Our Groups Button

Thirty minutes away, south of Yelm highway, volunteers April Spaulding and JennyAnn Wheeler bring Pizza Time pizza in a hot bag from downtown Olympia to Tenino High School. April, a 2003 alumni of Tenino High recalls her high school experience, "The only person in high school that was out got made fun of and bullied a lot in the locker room. I didn't see anything other than heterosexual monogamous relationships. If there had been a Pizza Klatch when I was younger, it may have given me the space to figure things out sooner."

Dave Chappell, Principal of THS, has been pleased with the addition of Pizza Klatch to their support services at school. "Our goal at Tenino High School is to provide a safe, secure learning environment for ALL our students, including LGBTQ youth. Pizza Klatch provides a safe, supportive and caring environment where students who may feel disconnected and alone can just be themselves," Chappell said.Tenino header-background

Pizza Klatch was made possible at THS with funding and support from the Bucoda-Tenino Healthy Action Team (B-THAT), a coalition of TOGETHER!. The coalition began discussions about Pizza Klatch last November and administered a survey in the Spring to gauge interest, support and/or opposition of Pizza Klatch. The survey results showed overwhelming support from students and staff, and the coalition voted to include Pizza Klatch as one of their projects this year. Stacia Wasmundt, Community Coordinator of B-THAT said, "Some of the goals of the B-THAT coalition are to increase safe and healthy opportunities for youth, build relationships and promote positive healthy futures, which aligns nicely with the mission of Pizza Klatch. So far, it seems like the students are loving not only the free pizza, but the ability to have a safe place to go every week and find support with their peers and the facilitators.” Michael VanBuskirk, counselor at THS, and Greg Meyers from True North Student Assistance and Services, ESD 113 were also integral to getting Pizza Klatch started at THS.

“I am excited to see that Pizza Klatch has had a strong student presence from the start. I introduced myself on the first day and both groups of students were extremely grateful and thanked us for having this10488152_10154407200925623_4558097183245260471_n(1) group available at their school." Wasmundt added.

TOGETHER! also provides funding for Rainier high school, who has an average of 20 student attendees so far this year (in a school of 300). It is through community partnerships like that between Pizza Klatch and TOGETHER! that allows Pizza Klatch to continue to reach students at new schools each year.

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