SALT LAKE CITY — For the first time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a contribution to the Utah Pride Center.
The Utah Pride Center approached the church in the spring, asking if the Bishops' Storehouse could donate perishable food items for its homeless and low-income youth program, according to Kent Frogley, the Utah Pride Center board president.
The center works with the Utah Food Bank to provide breakfast for homeless youths on Saturdays during the cold months, but the food bank is unable to provide perishable food, Frogley said.
After reviewing the formal request, the LDS Church sent a donation along with a grant letter stating, “We are grateful to be able to serve your efforts in this worthy project and appreciate the work that you and others are doing related to this initiative."
“We’re just excited that we’re able to actually come together on something that we think is really beneficial to people in our community who are in need,” Frogley said. “When two organizations that don’t always agree on everything are able to work together to actually make the world a little bit better, I think that’s great.”
We're just excited that we're able to actually come together on something that we think is really beneficial to people in our community who are in need.
–Kent Frogley, Utah Pride Center
Frogley said he welcomes the opportunity to work with the LDS Church in the future to better the community and to help homeless youths, many of whom identify as LGBTQ.
“I think it’s these first steps that really help us to understand each other and build some trust and realize that it’s possible for people who aren’t in complete sync on everything to be a force for good and to make positive change in the world,” Frogley said. “So I would hope that it would be the beginning of future opportunities and not just a single incident.”
Utah state Sen. Jim Dabakis also commented on the contribution.
"I am grateful to the LDS Church for their generosity and for their show of support for the Pride Center outreach to homeless youth,” Dabakis said in a statement. “This feels right. Although the LDS Church and the LGBTQ community do not agree on everything, this is yet another link in a continuing relationship of respect and civility. Who could have imagined such a warm and growing friendship even a few years ago?"
Contributing: Brianna Bodily