Fraternity Supports Trans Student Donnie Collins

Excess Funds Donated to Jim Collins Foundation

Phi Alpha Tau FundraiserFebruary 27, 2013 (New York, NY) – As news and social media sites have caught wind of fraternity fundraiser for Donnie Collins’ surgery, there has been an outpouring of public support, and funds raised have quickly exceeded the $8,100 goal. In response, Donnie Collins has pledged excess funds to the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing financial assistance for gender-confirming surgeries.

JCF co-founder and White House Champions of Change nominee Tony Ferraiolo, who founded and led a trans youth group Donnie participated in, expressed gratitude and support for the donation. “I’m incredibly proud of Donnie for overcoming the obstacles in his life, becoming the man he is today, for inspiring people to take on a cause that is larger than him, and giving back to the community in this way.”

“It’s been such a long road, and it has been life-altering to find support and brotherhood,” said Donnie Collins. “From my time in the transgender youth group, which introduced me to some of my best friends, to my brothers at Emerson and everyone who has given to this fundraising campaign, the support I have received has made such a difference in my life.”

Founded in 2008, the Jim Collins Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization raising money to fund gender-confirming surgery. Health care discrimination against trans people is known to be linked to the high suicide rate in the trans community.  Gender-confirming surgery is recognized as medically necessary and often life-saving.

“There is an increasing number of people understanding the importance of trans health care,” said Dru Levasseur, JFC co-founder and national Transgender Rights Attorney for Lambda Legal. “It’s encouraging to see a fraternity – a highly gendered institution – recognizing the injustice of the denial of coverage and standing up for what is right.”

Since its inception, the Jim Collins Foundation has received hundreds of applications and will soon be announcing its 2013 grantees. JCF operates on individual donations and grants, and is run by a board comprised of medical professionals, attorneys, and activists. For more information and to donate, visit jimcollinsfoundation.org.