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Orlando Magic's VP of Shareholder Engagement, Ryan DeVos, along with his wife, Michelle DeVos, present representatives from Zebra Coalition with a $30,000 gift as part of the 30 Grants for 30 Years initiative. Zebra Youth is a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families or abuse.

Support from the DeVos Family Foundation Advances Zebra Coalition’s Impactful Work with LGBTQ+ Youth

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

ORLANDO - Where do LGBTQ+ youth go when they are unwelcomed in their family homes and have no place to go? Unfortunately, many end up on the streets where they are at risk of being victimized and harassed. This situation regrettably plays out all too often, as LGBTQ+ young people are more than twice as likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth.

Zebra Coalition in Orlando has been providing housing and support services for LGBTQ+ youth since 2010. The nonprofit supports individuals ages 13–24 through various programs and services – including mental health counseling, housing, community and leadership, youth meetups, education funds and more.

The organization has served more than 500 youth, and the community need for these services has only grown in recent years – increasing by 30 percent since March 2020.

Now, through a $30,000 donation from the DeVos Family Foundation, even more resources, support services, and counselor hours will be available for those who enter Zebra’s doors. Each program and goal are proactively designed and ultimately implemented with a clear vision of how outcomes will validate planned activities to support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth who are engaged with Zebra Coalition, with a goal of providing each individual with the tools necessary to become healthy, engaged, and self-sufficient individuals.

“I would love the DeVos family to know how grateful we are for the support here in Central Florida,” Zebra Coalition Executive Director Heather Wilkie said. “The programming we offer is so specialized and so important for our kids. They often have a lot of challenges, both socially and (with) their families. So, for us to be able to provide support from a mental health counseling perspective and a social perspective at a young age is so important for their growth. We really appreciate all the support, and you are truly making an impact here in Central Florida.”

As part of the DeVos family's 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, a total of $3 million will be donated to 30 area nonprofit organizations over 18 months, investing in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida. 

"We are so blessed by the countless individuals, nonprofits, and community-based teams committed to making Central Florida a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive," said Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. "We wanted to mark this 30-year milestone by coming alongside strong community leaders and organizations to assist them in their important and impactful work."