OPEN Doors youth service’s Christmases came at once when it became the recipient of a generous gift courtesy of the Queensland chapter of the Dykes on Bikes (DOB).

Working to raise $4000 for the Brisbane LGBTI youth advocacy and care organisation, DOB spent the year raising funds through raffles, various events and through the sale of their upcoming calendar.

“Our decision to support Open Doors was made after all members were given the opportunity to research and then suggest different charities they would like us to consider,” DOB Queensland president Julz Raven told the Star Observer.

“Ann Stewart, one of our most senior and respected members, suggested Open Doors Youth Services as she had had dealings with them in the past.

“Ann presented her case to the club and given Ann’s significant professional expertise in the area of education, leadership and equality it was obviously a very difficult suggestion to overlook.”

Open Doors coordinator Rocky Malone said that the donation would go towards its vital but unfunded trans* and youth support programs.

“The money raised… will go towards supporting our Jelly Beans program which provides support for transgender young people and also Young and Proud program for people aged 18-24,” Malone said.

“Both programs are currently not funded by the government so any donations to support these programs are very welcome by Open Doors and our clients.”

The Queensland chapter of the DOB was established in 1995.

“For many years Dykes On Bikes Queensland has simply existed in this community and not really given back to it,” Raven said.

“Our members wanted to change that and we felt it was important to support the community as a whole – not just lesbian based programs.

“We are supported at Pride events by everyone — gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbians and everything in between so it seemed appropriate that we find a charity to support which represents all of those cross sections — not just one.”

The donation was made during Open Doors’ Christmas party that saw over 25 young people come together in Brisbane’s New Farm Park to celebrate a successful year for the organisation (pictured above).

“A couple of calendars later, some happy raffle ticket winners sitting on our bikes at Mardi Gras and a whole lot of money box shaking at all of our events and what do you know… we had a few bucks laying around to donate to a good cause,” Raven said.

Open Doors relies on community donations to keep many of its programs running successfully to support at-risk LGBTI youth across Brisbane. To make a donation or for more information, visit: www.opendoors.net.au

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