Quin Williams organized the drive to benefit Time Out Youth. (Photo Credit: quinknowslgbtq.org)

The Time Out Youth Essential Products Drive was created as a manner of supporting LGBTQ youth, as well as local small businesses. Quin Williams, of the website Quin Knows LGBTQ, organized the drive to solicit donations as a manner of providing Time Out Youth (TOY) with some of the most needed items. The products that they are most hoping to receive are hair care supplies (including African-American hair care products, such as combs, brushes, du-rags and hair scarves), deodorant for all genders, make-up for all skin tones and all sizes of tampons. All donations must be unused and not travel size.

The drive will take place throughout the entire month of March, ending on April 1.

The participating drop-off locations are Bishops Charlotte Cuts/Colors (both their location in South End as well as in Midtown) and the NoDa Company Store. Each of these companies have struggled tremendously since the beginning of COVID-19, but are adamant that they will never pass up on an opportunity to help others.

Bishops Charlotte Cuts/Colors has always been a passionate participant of LGBTQ events across the United States. Since their inception in Portland, Oregon, Bishops Charlotte has featured the mission statement: “We empower you to be whoever you want to be, judgment-free.”

Over the past few years they have partnered with Strands for Trans, the Dress Code Project, ReVamp, Bail Fund Project, Block Love Charlotte and Time Out Youth. Bishops Charlotte has worked with Quin Williams in the past during Transgender Awareness month to provide gender-affirming cuts while honoring those lost to violence with a CLTChalkArt’s piece displayed at the business.

The NoDa Company Store has also served as a drop-off location for donations. Joey Hewell, one of the owners of Charlotte’s NoDa Company Store, confirmed that he and his husband are committed to working with LGBTQ organizations and especially those for youths who have faced social challenges and issues with family. The NoDa Company Store has opened, closed, changed their products and setup throughout the pandemic, but feel fortunate to have remained in business despite the challenges business owners have faced.

“When you make those donations, you are helping children [and young people] who can’t help themselves,” says Williams. “Many of them have families who’ve chosen their ego over the love of their children. We, the community, organizers, change-makers, those with hearts and pockets big enough to give are their family now. We have to take care of our children. We cannot call ourselves advocates and allies with no actions.

“All it takes is one person to see a need and meet it,” Williams continues. “You don’t have to ask for permission to care, you don’t have to have a lot of money, you just have to have the heart, the love, and the determination to see to it that others know for sure that you do.”

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