Monday, October 12, 2020

Helping Hands for Ja'briel


In 2014, I was fortunate to connect with Ms. Ja'briel Walthour, a transgender woman from Hinesville, GA - near my home in Statesboro, GA where I serve as a Unitarian Universalist Minister.  (Note: I also serve half-time at the Unitarian Universalists of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.)  Her story was so compelling that I used it for an assignment to write a graphic story (some would call it a "comic book story") for a class I was taking.  I invited Ms. Walthour to our congregation to speak and we were awed with her courage and commitment to being her authentic self and helping others in southeast Georgia to better understand transgender people.  This year (2020), I reconnected with Ms. Walthour as I was preparing a sermon about how we could be better allies for transgender people.  It was during our conversations before the sermon, that I learned that Ms. Walthour was saving money for her gender confirmation surgery and was about half-way there.  In my online service on October 11 (National Coming Out Day) to my two congregations and visitors from the UU congregation of Outer Banks, I shared my graphic story about Ms. Walthour and shared that she was saving money for her surgery.  Since then I've had communication with folks who want to contribute.  I'm having to facilitate an avenue for that purpose.

If you wish to share a contribution, you may send (tax-deductible) contributions to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro at PO Box 2453, Statesboro, GA 30459 with "Helping Hands for Ja'briel" in the subject line.  Unless you prefer to remain anonymous, we will share with Ms. Walthour about your contribution so that she can thank you.  When we have saved enough to complete her goal for her surgery, we will sent the money to the outstanding surgeon that has agreed to work with her. She has also given me permission to share her name and address so that you can send a check directly to her if you prefer.  

Ms. Ja'Briel Walthour
PO Box #402
Allenhurst, Georgia 31301

I'm am including the story that I wrote below which was based on the story that Ms Walthour shared with me about her journey.  She continues to do well and looks forward to her gender confirmation surgery.  Thanks for any help you can provide.