Rise Above Coffee is proud to be the LGBTQ+ Coffee that gives back, and each month, we feature a non-profit doing exceptional work in the LGBTQ+ community. This March, we’re shining a spotlight on Free Mom Hugs.
Free Mom Hugs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission of empowering the world to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community through visibility, education, and conversation.
How Free Mom Hugs Began
Founder Sara Cunningham began her journey of advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community after seeing firsthand how her gay son was treated. In her words:
“I’m a Christian Mom with a gay kid living in Oklahoma saying enough is enough. If I don’t fight for my son (and his rights) like my hair is on fire, then who will? It’s time we celebrate our LGBTQ+ children. And I won’t stop until I no longer hear horror stories from the LGBTQ+ community and their mothers.”
She founded Free Mom Hugs in 2014 as a way to empower LGBTQIA+ youth and advocate for them in the broader community. Since then, countless parents and allies across the country have joined the movement to accept, love and support the LGBTQIA+ community. Free Mom Hugs officially became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2018, committed to fighting for human rights for all.
Fostering Change Through Education
Free Mom Hugs believes that education can have a powerful impact when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. Through various programs and initiatives, they offer presentations, panel discussions and conversations. Free Mom Hugs works to foster change in corporations, high schools, churches, universities, and a wide variety of other groups.
Encouraging Change Through Visibility
Free Mom Hugs places a high value on representation; striving to elevate the LGBTQIA+ community through their work. They believe that visibility can open people’s minds and encourage real change in our society. Free Mom Hugs works to inspire the LGBTQIA+ community to be who they are and encourages allies to stand in the gap for the community that so many of us hold dear.
Sparking Conversation to Heal Differences
As humans, we cannot heal our differences without genuine connection. Free Mom Hugs encourages people to start conversations and share their stories to do just that. The organization creates opportunities for learning through the speaking engagements, webinars, interactive discussions, and other programs they offer. All serve to provide valuable dialogue regarding the LGBTQIA+ community.
For struggling LGBTQIA+ youth, even one accepting adult can mean the difference between life and death. Free Mom Hugs places a strong emphasis on allyship, offering resources and recommendations big and small on how to be supportive within the LGBTQIA+ community. From wearing pride apparel or attending a pride event to educating yourself or volunteering with Free Mom Hugs, there are many ways to be supportive.
Additionally, Free Mom Hugs loves to highlight books, movies and tv shows that center the LGBTQIA+ experience and the issues that matter most within this community.
Coffee for a Cause
In support of Free Mom Hugs, our March #coffeeforacause is Love is Love, our smooth, medium roast coffee with hints of sweet apple, raisin, and honey. When you buy Love is Love during the month of March, a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to Free Mom Hugs!
To learn more about Free Mom Hugs, order from their shop, or find a local chapter near you, visit their website and make sure to follow them on social media!