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BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in West Virginia will suspend mentoring services for underprivileged children after donors pulled funding earlier this month in response to an LGBTQ-awareness training program.

Sara McDowell is executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central West Virginia. The Charleston Gazette-Mail quotes her as saying the organization won’t recruit or match volunteer Big Sisters and Big Brothers in Raleigh County or fill two vacancies until it has adequate funding.

Organizers said the program lost $80,000 in local grants after donors learned the agency accepted a $20,000 national grant to provide resources and training to promote inclusiveness of LGBTQ volunteers and youth. McDowell says the agency has since raised more than $30,000.

The program currently serves 34 children from ages 6 to 11.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,