Metro East Pride Gives Back to the Community
Being a part of the entire Metro East Community, which includes Jersey, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton and Monroe counties, we pride ourselves on giving back to the community at large. Each year, we try to give back a little more since we receive so much support from many individuals, organizations and businesses. In fiscal 2019-20 Metro East Pride has donated over $3,000 to various groups, individuals and causes. This ranges from the Belleville Back to School Backpack Program to the Project of One meal for a family in desperate need to sponsoring LGBTQ+ seniors in our community at Christmas, both financially and socially. We also contributed financially to the Volunteer Appreciation Party sponsored by Club Escapade, the Pride STL Community Christmas Dinner and numerous individuals and families in need. In 2020 Metro East Pride, in conjunction with Pride STL and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, distributed 100+ holiday food boxes to those in need in our community.
Metro East Pride implemented a Pride Scholarship for college-bound students in 2020. This scholarship is awarded to a local senior/community college student who demonstrates scholastic achievement, involvement in their community, citizenship and integrity. The Pride Scholarship is open to all students in the LGBTQIA community. The 2020 Pride Scholarship Recipient was Sydney Eschman, an ally to her best friend, who attended Belleville Township High School East. Scholarship Applications are available in spring each year and details can be found on Metro East Pride’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MetroEastPridecom.
Back to School Backpack Program
For the past several years, Metro East Pride has been a key sponsor of Belleville Chamber’s Back to School Backpack Program where they give away over 1,000 backpacks to students in need. This is a great way to impact the community that has been very generous and accepting of Metro East Pride.
O’Fallon Illuminated Holiday Parade
Metro East Pride not only participated in the O’Fallon Illuminated Holiday Parade, we sponsored a city float when several sponsors backed out this year and we manned the face painting booth for all children after the parade.
DCFS Event Sponsor
DCFS offers dedicated resources for it’s LGBTQIA members. Metro East Pride has assisted with their Pride Night, sponsored their Christmas Party and hosted a Games Night for these students. In 2020, through the assistance of a generous corporate sponsor and many LGBTQIA members in our community, we were able to host their virtual Christmas Party via ZOOM where each individual student received a rainbow beanie celebrating their pride, candy and homemade cookies. In addition, Metro East Pride presented each of the five residential facilities a Chromebook and accessories for students to search and apply for jobs, perform schoolwork and surf the Internet. This was a great addition to each of the residential facilities and Metro East Pride was proud we were able to contribute!
Movie Nights with Santa
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce had to cancel the Santa Claus Parade and Santa Claus House. Instead, they hosted Movie Nights with Santa at the Skyview Drive In. Metro East Pride was one of the sponsors of the events and staffed volunteers for one of the events. Families and kids alike enjoyed pictures with Santa (socially distanced, of course), hot chocolates and treats, plus a drive through the theater by Santa Claus. Metro East Pride was proud to be a part of this community activity.