Love on a mission

Love on a Mission has provided a safe and supportive environment for youth in order to help them be their authentic selves. By hosting monthly support groups for LGBTQ youth, ages 12-18, individuals can find others who relate to them, build friendships and find their place in the community. 

MANSFIELD – For a child or young adult, having an outlet to express themselves without fear or judgment can lead them toward a remarkable and freeing future. Anyone should have that experience, including LGBTQ youth. 

Love on a Mission (LOAM) has provided a safe and supportive environment for youth in order to help them be their authentic selves. By hosting monthly support groups for LGBTQ youth, ages 12-18, individuals can find others who relate to them, build friendships and find their place in the community. 

LOAM began in 2015, formed by executive director Deena Pfahler, and since then has served as a resource for youth as well as parents. LOAM also provides individual support to youth and families as needed.

“As a parent of two gay sons myself, I have personally met with a few of these parents to offer support and share my journey,” Pfahler said. 

After moving into their new space, LOAM will now be offering a clothes closet for youth that are in need of clothing, coats, hats, etc. They will also expand services to provide after school drop-in hours in addition to more frequent support groups. Classes such as art, yoga, self-defense and cooking (to name a few) will be offered. A parent group will be provided, if there is a need, as well.

Throughout the pandemic, LOAM has had parents continue to reach out, looking for a safe space for their child and also support for themselves. The work and planning have never stopped, and local leaders such as Pfhaler want to continue figuring out how to give support to those who need it. 

Look for updates and announcements on LOAM’s new space online. 

If you'd like to donate to help support LOAM's mission this giving season, you can do so here. 

This article was paid for by the nonprofit organization mentioned. Leading up to Giving Tuesday on December 1, we will feature profiles on various local nonprofits. Read all the stories here.

Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter for Richland Source and Content Specialist for Source Brand Solutions. She graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism. When she's not writing news, she's writing fiction or taking photos.