We’re aiming high for this year’s Give OUT Day – a one-day online fundraiser for LGBTQ orgs like our volunteer-driven Arise Project. But we’re not doing it alone.
We have help from people like Mike Augustyniak, an Arise Project Givenator. For an amazing sixth year in a row, Mike is creating awareness and raising funds that directly support Twin Cities agencies that create better lives for homeless LGBTQ youth.
Join Mike and Arise Project on Give OUT Day—but first, get to know this six-time Givenator and community champion.
I’m the director of meteorology and the meteorologist and co-anchor on weekend morning newscasts at WCCO here in the Twin Cities. I also created and host “Mike’s Mix”, a weekly segment focusing on the art and science behind making the perfect cocktail. My TV work has been recognized with multiple Emmy Awards for Broadcast Excellence, and I’ve been lucky enough to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBS Evening News, and CBS This Morning. And I was recently named a 2018 Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal ’40 Under 40′ business and community leader.
I have been (and always will be) a science nerd, and I’m proud of it. As a gay teen, this meant I had multiple targets on my back. Eventually, this got me stuffed in a garbage can (yes, really!).
Meanwhile, my family struggled with my coming out. Through the hard years, we always remembered what was most important – family and love. I’m happy to say that, now, I’m fully accepted by them for who I am.
Being gay and coming out has changed since I was growing up, but it’s still not easy. We know that LGBTQ teens are 6 times more likely to experience homelessness, and there are over 4,700 homeless youth in Minnesota on any given night.
Why Arise Project?
I hope that, through being open and honest about all aspects of my life, I can make the world seem a little less scary and lonely for others.
I’m returning as an Arise Project Givenator in 2018 for a sixth year in a row because there’s a lot of work to be done to help LGBTQ youth in Minnesota. In fact, our state invests about 1/5 as much as other states when it comes to LGBTQ youth issues.
If you believe that Minnesota should be a loving and caring community for all, I hope you’ll stand UP and give OUT today to help me and Greater Twin Cities United Way support youth in our community. Arise Project has raised over $1 million for LGBTQ youth in five years, but we have a long way to go!
You can join other community champions by donating any amount that fits your budget. This year, I’m aiming for a grand total of $10,000 at a time when every dollar makes a difference – right here in the Twin Cities. I hope you’ll join me for Give OUT Day!