"Our community needs to know they are supported."
The Jim Collins Foundation has received an unprecedented grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies Director/Employee Designated Gift Fund in the amount of $20,000. The donation will go directly to providing gender-confirming surgeries to transgender individuals who need, but cannot afford, potentially life-saving medical procedures.
"We are thrilled to receive this level of support” said Stephanie Houle, treasurer and board member for The Jim Collins Foundation. "We have been running on the generosity of individual donations and fundraising dollar by dollar and are always grateful for every penny we receive. This donation will go a long way and make a significant difference in people's lives."
The Jim Collins Foundation is a non-profit, all volunteer organization whose mission is to provide financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries. Founded by two transgender people in 2008, the organization operates on individual donations and is run by a board comprised of medical professionals, attorneys, and activists. In March, the organization announced its second round of grant recipients, Aramentha Jones of New York and Nick Lawrence of California .
In the past year, the foundation received over 300 applications, many from people who were desperate for assistance. Access to gender-confirming surgery is impossible for most. Discrimination against transgender people is so prevalent that many transgender people struggle to survive, never mind save for surgery costs. Even for those who have health insurance, coverage is systematically denied.
"Our community needs to know they are supported," said Tony Ferraiolo , co-founder of The Jim Collins Foundation. "People are starting to pay attention to the barriers that transgender people face when it comes to health care and we are working to change things."