Around Town: Lady Gaga’s Foundation Makes a Big Impact on Small Nonprofits Serving LGBTQIA+ Youth | New


Outlet, a long-running program run by Adolescent Counseling Services, which provides mental health and support services to LGBTQ youth. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sammy Dallal.

In the latest Around Town column, news from Lady Gaga’s foundation has awarded $50,000 for teen counseling services and how the community has come together to relieve students and people who live in cars from a wave heat earlier this month.

APPLAUSE WORTHY… Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation recently received $50,000 from his Kindness in the Community Fund at Teen Counseling Services (ACS), a Redwood City nonprofit organization that serves youth and their families in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The grant comes from a larger gift of $250,000 provided by Zoomwhich has its roots in San Francisco.

“Mental health services are needed more than ever,” Roxana Shirkhoda, Zoom’s social impact manager, said in a press release. “That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with the Born This Way Foundation’s Kindness in Community Fund to increase access to mental health services in the Bay Area, where Zoom is headquartered and where many our employees live and work.”

ACS Executive Director Philip Rey was delighted with the announcement. “We thought we had a very long chance of getting it because we’re so small and so local,” he said.

ACS provides services to approximately 10,000 young people and their families, although this number has increased to 13,000 during the pandemic. ACS plans to apply the $50,000 prize to its Point of sale program — a program that “empowers LGBTQIA+ youth and creates safe and accepting environments through support, education, and advocacy,” according to its website. Rey crossed her fingers that Lady Gaga or her mother, Cynthia Germanotta who co-founded and helped run the Born This Way Foundation, will make an appearance at the ACS fundraising gala, to be held at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto on September 27.

A Karat school project volunteer drops water outside an RV. The non-profit organization distributed approximately 200 gallons to residents of cars parked on El Camino Real, Greer Road and other parts of the city from September 6-8, 2022. Courtesy of Evelyne Keomian.

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