On December 22, 2017, Trans Lifeline - Microgrants began its Christmas Commissary project. This fundraiser was designed to raise money that would be deposited into the commissary accounts of incarcerated trans people around the country on Christmas Day, a day when many prisons and jails waive fees on commissary deposits.

To assist us in this work, we reached out to organizations already providing direct support to incarcerated trans people. These organizations knew more about how to navigate specific commissary rules and regulations, which vary greatly between facilities. Furthermore, these organizations would be able to directly deposit the funds into individual commissary accounts on our behalf.

We set our initial fundraising goal at $8,000. With only three days to raise funds, we decided that this goal was reasonably ambitious. After speaking with our partner organizations, we also determined that this number would allow us to deposit a substantial amount of money in the accounts of each person receiving funds from the project.  

By the end of the fundraiser on Christmas Day, we raised a total of $11,785. Because this number far exceeded our initial goal, we contacted our partner organizations to determine our next steps. In many cases, we increased the amount of money we deposited in commissary accounts. We also worked with these organizations to add more incarcerated trans people to our list of recipients.

Finally, we made the choice to give a grant to TGIJP, an organization led by trans people of color and that fights tirelessly for justice for incarcerated trans people. One of their many programs is the Melenie Eleneke Grassroots Re-entry Program, which helps trans people who have been incarcerated adjust after being released. You can learn more about the seriously incredible work they do here.

To all who supported this project, whether with money or with social media promotion, we cannot thank you enough. We consider this project a huge success, and all our supporters made it possible.

The money raised during this special project was distributed as follows:

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