Meet the Woman Who Believes Even Small Towns Should Have a Safe Space for the LGBTQ+ Community
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Editor’s Note: “Leading with Love” is a five-part series produced by Katie Couric Media in partnership with P&G that shares the inspirational stories of everyday people who Lead with Love, making meaningful impact in their communities.
When Emily Sproul plunged into the role of executive director of the Shenandoah Valley LGBTQ Center, she found that it was the dream job she never knew she wanted. At the time she took over leading the center, two of her four children had come out, and she knew there was a need for the type of resources this center provided to the LGBTQ+ community in the Staunton, Virginia area.
“What I really see us doing is creating a center that not only provides social support and referrals but that we can refer people in-house to a mental health professional, to a nurse practitioner, so that they can get all of their care in one place – a place that they feel safe,” Emily said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, fundraising became a big concern. Many LGBTQ+ centers rely on Pride Month to raise awareness of their mission and funds to support their efforts. P&G and iHeartRadio’s Can’t Cancel Pride campaign in 2020 supported organizations including CenterLink to bridge the funding gap during the global pandemic.
With the proceeds from Can’t Cancel Pride, CenterLink was able to able to provide $2,400 grants to more than 190 LGBTQ+ community centers and organizations, including the Shenandoah Valley LGBTQ Center.
“With the support from Can't Cancel Pride, we've been able to come out of the pandemic back into reopening like we’ve been shot out of a pinball machine,” Emily said.
The ongoing support has helped the Shenandoah Valley LGBTQ Center keep its doors open, giving Emily and her team the ability to help those struggling with their sexual orientation find a place to belong — as well as a hug when needed.
“I think overall the biggest impact is making space for LGBTQ people to be themselves,” Emily said. “We have shone a beacon out in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley to say you belong here.”
Can’t Cancel Pride is an example of how we’re stepping up to Lead with Love. Lead with Love is P&G’s call to action to make 2021 the year we all come together to do more and do better – for communities, equality and the planet. Learn more.
How You Can Help
Even the smallest acts of good can make the world a better place.
You can help support the Can’t Cancel Pride campaign in two key ways:
- Select Can’t Cancel Pride as your cause on P&G Good Everyday, and then take a survey, scan a receipt or donate points to provide a phone call to an isolated LGBTQ+ elder in need of connection to community. Plus, as you engage, you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for rewards you love, such as gift cards and sweepstakes entries.
- Join the conversation to advance equality for the LGBTQ+ community and use the hashtag #CantCancelPride to show your support.
Since our rewards program launched in May 2020, our members’ involvement is making a big impact in this world with more than 5 million acts of good already performed by P&G Good Everyday community— and still counting. Check out what we’ve achieved so far thanks to our members’ everyday actions.
Let’s keep the good going and do more together!