Virtual meetings bittersweet for LGBTQ nonprofit

‘We are San Antonio strong’

SAN ANTONIO – Adapting to the COVID-19 crisis has been bittersweet for Fiesta Youth. The nonprofit offers support groups for LGBTQ teenagers and their families.

While they haven’t been able to conduct their in-person weekly meetings, fundraisers and events, going virtual has proven to be beneficial. Fiesta Youth has been able to reach out to even more kids than they typically do. Kids from Seguin, New Braunfels, and Corpus Christi have joined their Zoom meetings on Tuesday nights.

According to David Laidacker, President of Fiesta Youth, the meetings are a chance for the kids to meet others and vent about anything -- including adapting to social distancing and having to spend more time at home. “We still do a round-robin, which is basically going around the circle, everybody saying their name and their pronouns. And then we have a question of the day and then we do our programing," Laidacker explains.

The meetings have also brought in new learning opportunities.

“We had a guest speaker from the Pride Center here in San Antonio talk about how to make masks out of old shirts,” said Laidacker.

Fiesta Youth is the only LGBTQ organization with an official Fiesta event. Typically around this time, Laidacker said the organization would be decorating and setting up for their masquerade ball.

“This is an event where we get most of our programing money for the upcoming year. So with it being changed to a later date, we definitely have to be creative with our funds that we do have right now,” Laidacker explained.

The event has been moved to Friday, November 6. For now, Fiesta Youth is taking part in virtual fundraisers like Brunch and concerts online. To support the organization you can purchase tickets to the November event or buy their 2020 Fiesta medal. Monetary donations also go towards putting on other popular events for the kids like College Day and LGBTQ prom, the biggest event of its kind in South Texas.

Despite these setbacks, Laidacker remains optimistic. “We are San Antonio strong. We will get through this and we will be all together very, very soon and celebrating fiesta and many other things.”

KSAT is showcasing some of the nonprofits that benefit from Fiesta San Antonio as we rebroadcast the 2019 parades.

RELATED: Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped some San Antonians from celebrating Fiesta at home

You can watch more exclusive Fiesta content on the KSAT-TV Streaming app available on your smart TV, Apple TV, Roku and more.

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