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#SaveSkippingStone campaign seeks community help for organization in light of funding cuts

Fundraising campaign #SaveSkippingStone has raised more than $18,000 for the Alberta organization that helps trans and gender diverse youth.

Local LGBTQ+ advocate and founder of Mike’s Bloggity Blog Mike Morrison started the GoFundMe after Skipping Stone announced on Dec. 3 that they would not be accepting new clients due to a lack of funding.

“I’ve been following the work Skipping Stone has been doing for a few years. Obviously it’s just incredibly important and something that’s very much needed in any city, but in particular, Calgary,” said Morrison.

Skipping Stone assists trans and gender diverse youth, families and adults by providing low-barrier access to support services. This includes community, mental health, medical and educational resources. 

Skipping Stone acknowledged LiveWire Calgary’s request for comment. They didn’t provide any further details by the time the story was published.

The news of funding cuts to Skipping Stone first surfaced in September. They shared a call to action with its supporters. The announcement included the news of the resignation of Dr. Michael Marshall, the head of the Gender Clinic at the University of Alberta, due to a lack of funding and sustainability. Supporters were asked to call and email government and community figures to ask to “increase funding for the delivery of trans-affirming health care.”

“It’s really shocking to hear, because any stat will tell you that trans youth are probably the most vulnerable of all youth,” said Morrison.

“To think that they get up the courage to ask an organization to help then and that organization is not able to because of lack of funds – it really just broke my heart.”

Dec. 3 announcement set aid plan in motion

After the most recent announcement, Morrison said he wanted to help.

“I slept on it overnight and in the morning, I said, ‘Well, what can I do?’ And I thought, I have a social media following and if I can help raise money for them, I’m going to,” he said.

The fundraiser, which had an original goal of $10,000, was fulfilled within 24 hours. As of Dec. 6, it has reached $18,565. Thanks to donations, and support from other public figures like K.D. Lang, Skipping Stone shared that they can now accept two new youth off their waiting list.

“I’ve been impressed by Calgarians before – going back to the flood, or really anytime someone’s in need in the city. It seems that people step up and they just need the opportunity to,” said Morrison.

The fundraiser is still open for donations on GoFundMe. Morrison said he appreciates any donation, whether it’s a spare $5 in your pocket or $1,000.