SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – On Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith, and Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds announced they’ll be donating $4 million to Utah-based non-profit Encircle.
Encircle provides mental health and other services to 70,000 LGBTQ youth and their families.
“A place where youth can go after school to have therapy for themselves and their families,” lead singer Dan Reynolds said during an interview on Good Morning America.
A new study shows four out of 10 LGBTQ youth across the country seriously consider suicide.
Encircle sees a need to expand to eight other locations, but needs $8 million to get the job done.
Apple is pledging $1 million and digital products.
“Doing this with Dan and Ryan is sort of taking it to a new level is what it is all about,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
The Utah Jazz owners are donating $2 million.
“Encircle has developed a model that embodies everything I believe in its love its home its unity,” Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith said.
BYU Alumni and Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds is donating his $1 million childhood house, which is slated to be the first Encircle location in Las Vegas.
“The difficult path that LGBTQ youth have, especially coming from homes of faith, and now with the blessings from my mom and dad, I was able to purchase the house from them,” Reynolds says.
Encircle says this money will be put to good use.
“We are extremely grateful that these global leaders see the vision of the profound work we are doing for LGBTQ+ youth and families throughout our communities,” says Stephenie Larsen, CEO & Founder of Encircle. “Studies repeatedly have shown that LGBTQ+ youth across the country struggle with depression and suicidality far more than their heterosexual peers, and the pandemic has made that sense of isolation so many feel harder than ever before. We strive to give these kids a positive and loving environment that builds support within their communities where they can realize their full potential, and it works – we have not lost a single youth to suicide. This incredible support makes our nationwide expansion possible and will improve countless LGBTQ+ lives – reminding them that they are perfect, just as they are.”
There is no timeline as to when the new locations will open.