"A Personal Letter from J&D"
For those of you who have been following our career, first of all, 'thank you'. Most of you know the amazing journey that we've shared together over these past eight years of touring. We have made so many wonderful friends and we've had the opportunity to travel the world.
Whether it was by our video "This is Love" being voted "Video of the Year" in 2006 or our documentary-film "We're All Angels" airing on SHOWTIME and recently LOGO, our work and music has reached thousands of people. We've received emails from countless people sharing their stories and we are constantly reminded of the importance of what we do. If you haven't seen our Noh8campain pic, here it is above left. It represents that although the GLBT community has made many strides towards freedom, equality and justice, there is much work to do and we will not be silenced. Since moving to Houston in 2008 our life has shifted and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. We welcomed the opportunity for some balance and stability by joining the staff at Unity Church where we currently lead the youth and young adult groups and started a music service the "First Friday" of the month, called Celebration Service. On the other weekends, we continue to tour the country giving concerts. Most of you also know that this past May 15th, we finally had the wedding of our dreams. Many of you sent your best wishes and some of you even joined us on our Wedding Celebration Cruise. It was a beautiful experience and one we will never forget. Thank you to everyone who shared in this occasion with us, for your gifts, cards and love. As I have been sharing in our concerts, "first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...?" Yes, you guessed it! deMarco and I are in the process of planning a family and our life is continuing to shift and grow in new and exciting directions.
If you have received a newsletter from us in the past, than you know about our vision of S.A.F.E. Last year a young man who I had been emailing with had been struggling after "coming out of the closet". He had been kicked out of his home and was going from friend to friend, sleeping on their couch. He finally ended up with a friend who told him that he could stay there as long as he needed to. Unfortunately, a month later, that same friend of his emailed me letting me know that this young man had taken his own life and that she wanted me to know how much he had said that I meant to him. Iknew in that moment that "IT IS TIME". For several years I have had a vision for a non-profit organization that would help kids who have been kicked out of their homes, or who were in foster care because of being kicked out or rejected by their own parents, or perhaps were aging out of the foster care system and had no support and nowhere to turn. After moving to Houston I saw the need for an organization like this more than ever before and it fueled my dream. That dream is finally being realized with the launching of our new non-profit S.A.F.E. (Safe, Affirming, Family Environment).
We officially received 501(c)3 non-profit status on June 22, 2010 and are in full force preparing and planning for the work that S.A.F.E. is to do. By January 1st 2011, it is our intention to open the very first "Safe Spot" in Houston which will provide a drop-in and resource center for "throw-away" youth and young adults who will be offered snacks, coffee, clothes, books and a computer station. It is also our intention to begin forming a community of house parents and 'Safe Houses' who are willing to offer transitional housing to GLBTQ young adults and 'Safe Houses' run by foster parents currently certified through Child Protective Services or those wishing to get certified to foster GLBTQ kids. Our intention with the homeless community is to encourage GLBTQ kids to enter the Foster Care system and educate them on the benefits offered tothem by the state, knowing that they will be placed with a GLBT friendly foster home found through our organization.If you are interested in joining our online community, please visit www.safehouseforall.org. Our goal is to start with Houston and then help other cities create "Safe Spots" and form S.A.F.E. communities locally with S.A.F.E.'s mentorship and guidance.
We filmed a new music video to our song 'Safe', the title cut from our latest CD, also entitled "Safe". We are in post-production with the video and are planning to release it by the end of the year. We believe that this video is powerful and is going to put a face to the issues that the organization S.A.F.E. is striving to bring to peoples' awareness. Our hope is that we will strike a chord with talk show personalities who help get the mission and need for S.A.F.E. out there to America!
This new venture is going to take much time and energy, and with us beginning a family, it is the perfect opportunity for us to make this our focus while taking time off of the road to adjust to parenthood. Many of you have been along with us on our journey from the very beginning and we are so excited to get to share this next chapter with you. We cannot do this alone. There are kids out there who need us. They are all OUR kids! So please visit www.safehouseforall.org to read more about our mission, our vision and be a part. We currently have a donor who is willing to match funds up to $25,000. We have raised $13,765 to date and our intention is to raise $100,000 by the end of the year so we can begin the work in the New Year. deMarco and I will continue recording and releasing new music and we will continue touring occasionally through most of 2011. Please share S.A.F.E. with anyone you know and join our online community by visiting the website. Together we will create a world where EVERY heart has a home!
We have also launched a new online Radio Program called "The SAFE Spot". Tune in for updates on S.A.F.E. and the work that we are doing by visiting "The SAFE Spot Blog Talk Radio".
J&D's Challenge and How You Can Help!
deMarco and I have also begun a new venture. For eight years we have used music as a method to help people heal and it seems that now, more than ever, people are in need of healing. This past year, we have heard so many people share their struggles, whether it is their health, their job situation or their finances. We have personally begun to feel the backlash from the economy and so we are right there with all of you. With us planning to take some time off the road to begin a family, we've also been praying for some opportunity to present itself that would also be in alignment with our purpose. The following is a quote from one of our fans:
"OK, as I am sitting at my desk stressed to the max and totally exhausted I decided to check out your video on Isagenix. What do I have to lose, besides weight? And as Jason mentioned yesterday on the call. If you want to support us, which I definitely do and I do monthly, "do it by doing this cleasnse and by purchasing this superfood that is in my opinion the best food available on the planet". I get benefits from being an "Angel" and my monthly donations just by being able to help support the wonderful things that you do. This way I can benefit myself, too".