For years in New York City, people would hold "rent parties" where they would charge a small fee at the door of their private parties to raise funds to pay their rent. A few Haligonians are looking to do their own version, but this time to help out a family that has had a run of bad luck.
Owen Ross is one of the organizers of the the FamJam Fundraiser Collective. He and his friends wanted to help out their friends Michelle Malette, Quin Smith and their family as they had recently lost their car, their income and home. "This family gives so much to our queer and greater local community," says Ross. "Michelle Malette is the sole founder and organizer of Trans Family, a peer-support organization for trans people and their families, as well as the organizer for the Halifax chapter of PFLAG. Michelle also volunteers at various Youth Project events, the Out of the Cold shelter, as well as drives all her kids and their teammates to their hockey practices. The Malette/Smith family can be found at every vigil, march and fundraiser to show their support. Now it's our turn to help them."
The FamJam Fundraiser Collective is therefore hosting a series of events, including a prom-themed party at the Sad Rad, an all-ages venue located above a now-defunct radiator shop on Young St in the north end of Halifax. The fundraiser takes place this Saturday, with an admission of $10 or pay what you can. One focus of the fundraising is to help the family purchase a new car. All proceeds from the prom will be going directly to the family.
"The Junior High Prom will be a fun night that engages people from all generations to come out and have a fun time together for a good cause," says Owen. "We chose to make this an all-ages event because we wanted to include the whole family. This situation affects the whole family, so why not the solution too?"
Check out the event Facebook page for more info.