Our series “Community Connections” highlights the ways in which 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. connects with and celebrates the communities it serves.
GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, has been at the forefront of cultural change for over 35 years. It has helped accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community, protected all that has been accomplished, and created a world where everyone can live the life they love.
The organization formed in 1985 to counter the New York Post’s and other media outlets’ erroneous and inflammatory reporting on the AIDS crisis. Subsequently, GLAAD began to put pressure on other media outlets to end what it saw as homophobic reporting.
Within its first five years, GLAAD offices opened in other cities, including Los Angeles, which became an influential chapter due to its proximity to the entertainment industry. GLAAD has since evolved from a watchdog to a cultural change agent within the film and television industry, working to advance accurate and inclusive representation for the LGBTQ community.
The advocacy eventually led to the annual GLAAD Media Awards, which have been presented for over 30 years. They honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive depictions of LGBTQ people and issues. The annual event has grown to be the most visible LGBTQ awards show in the world, sending powerful messages of acceptance to global audiences.
Supporting life-changing work
To celebrate Pride Month in June, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has joined forces with GLAAD, strengthening its ongoing relationship with the respected nonprofit. Now through the end of June, 20% of net proceeds from purchases of the company’s special Pride bouquet will go to GLAAD. The company also made a $25,000 donation to the organization.
This donation will help to support GLAAD’s culture-changing work to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community, as we continue to build on our proud history.
“This donation will help to support GLAAD’s culture-changing work to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ community, as we continue to build on our proud history,” says Abdool Corlette, creative director at GLAAD, who leads all creative projects for the organization in addition to being an award-winning filmmaker. “Through this campaign with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., GLAAD will be able to continue programs that create real impact, from our news and rapid response work to hold media, government, and notables accountable for their actions toward the LGBTQ community, to our consulting work in Hollywood to improve the representations of LGBTQ people in TV and film. “
A common thread
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has been supporting GLAAD for over seven years, and, prior to the 2021 campaign, the company had already directed nearly $160,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to the organization.
GLAAD is motivated by portraying the diversity of the LGBTQ community in ways that drive connection and change hearts and minds. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. is passionate about helping people express, connect, and celebrate. “I believe our two missions intersect in our commitment to bring joy into people’s lives when they need it most,” Abdool says. “One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from COVID-19 is to not take joy for granted. It’s been crucial to my work to be intentional about creating content that highlights how resilient and powerful LGBTQ people are.”
For the second year in a row, GLAAD will be offering its Pride Unboxed initiative, a gift box containing over a dozen special items from LGBTQ-inclusive partners. “We launched this initiative in 2020 as a way to help LGBTQ people and allies show their pride while social distancing,” explained Abdool. “This year, we hope the box will provide a renewed sense of hope, joy, and pride while the world moves forward with vaccination efforts.”
This June, GLAAD will be releasing its second annual “20 Under 20” list. It honors young LGBTQ people who, through their stories, are accelerating acceptance of the LGBTQ community while shaping the future of news, entertainment, social, and all forms of media.
“Whether it’s the act of shining a spotlight on someone’s story or acknowledging how much you appreciate them with a bouquet of flowers, the power in taking the time to tell someone you see them and want to celebrate them is an act of beautiful joy that can go a long way,” Abdool says.
The collaboration is personal
The collaboration with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has special meaning for Abdool, who is a budding green thumb.
“When I moved into my current apartment in April 2020 in New York City, I didn’t own a single plant or flower. Now, as of May 2021, I am the proud parent of 20,” he says. “While I’ve always loved plants and flowers, my interest in taking care of them significantly changed during the pandemic.”
Like many people, he found himself working from home and having more time to take care of plants and flowers. “The simple happiness in seeing something grow and thrive has been transformative for me and my space in many ways,” he says. “Having something positive to focus on does wonders for your mental health.”
Abdool’s new hobby has blended perfectly into his weekly routine. “I see my plants grow taller every day, and I’m assured that they are happy and healthy. Whether it’s cooking, exercising, getting a pet or a new plant, it’s important to surround yourself with something that will bring joy into your life. During such stressful and isolating times, taking the time to reinvest into myself and my home has truly helped me stay grounded and positive.”