LOS ANGELES (Jan. 5, 2010) – GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Trevor Project – three organizations that work to improve the lives of LGBT youth – are among 100 finalists in Chase Community Giving, a campaign by Chase and Facebook to award $5 million to charities voted on by Facebook users.

In order to ensure that the organizations' lifesaving work receives as much support as possible, the only three LGBT-focused organizations among the 100 finalists are pleased to announce that they will pool resources and offer each other support in hopes that all three will be among the final six vote-getters. The top vote-getter receives $1 million. Five runners-up receive $100,000 each.

Voting begins Jan. 15 and runs until Jan. 22. Each Facebook user is eligible to vote for up to five charities.

In a joint statement, GLSEN executive director Eliza Byard, Matthew Shepard Foundation executive director Jason Marsden and The Trevor Project executive director Charles Robbins said: "We are grateful for the overwhelming support Facebook users have already shown GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Trevor Project in the first round of the Chase Community Giving program. Our three organizations have worked together for years to create a safer and better world for LGBT youth. Because of this partnership and the scarcity of resources available to fund crucial support for LGBT youth, we have decided to work together to ensure that each organization has the best chance to further our important work through the grants awarded as part of the Chase program. We ask our supporters to use three of their five votes for GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Trevor Project."

GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Trevor Project became eligible for the finals after finishing among the top 100 charities out of more than 500,000 in the first round of voting, held Nov. 15 through Dec. 12. Each of the 100 finalists received a $25,000 grant.

To learn more about Chase Community Giving, visit their Facebook page.

To learn more about GLSEN's Big Idea and to vote for GLSEN, click here.

Learn more about the Matthew Shepard Foundation's Big Idea and to vote for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, click here.

To learn more about The Trevor Project's Big Idea and to vote for The Trevor Project, click here.

About GLSEN

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

About The Matthew Shepard Foundation

The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year-old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied education, outreach and advocacy programs. For more information, please visit The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential helpline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. The organization was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film, "Trevor," a comedy/drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award® for Best Short Film (Live Action). For more information, visit The Trevor Project.

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