But when Bea Arthur died last year, she helped its cause. In her will, she left the Center a cash donation of $300,000. She had become aware of the Center and the issues facing LGBT kids through a friend, and over a number of years she had done a fair amount of work to raise consciousness about these issues. So when she passed away, she would not let them be forgotten:
[Executive Director Carl ] Siciliano said he knew of Arthur's plan to include the center in her will, but never knew the amount.
He had been struggling to keep the doors of the shelter open. The organization assists more than 1,000 people each year, providing shelter for those who had to leave home "for being who they are," Siciliano said.
"The last year and a half, since the economic crisis started, it's been really hard to keep this program going," Siciliano said. "A lot of the foundation and corporate money that we used to get has dried up, and we've been growing. Every day, we have about 125 kids a night waiting to get into our housing."
But on Tuesday morning, a FedEx carrier delivered a $300,000 check.
Siciliano said he immediately started to cry. Arthur's donation couldn't have come at a better time.
"For months, I've been really sweating to make each payroll, and we're usually a month or two behind on our rent, and there have been times when I was afraid that I wasn't going to hold it together," he said. "That kind of terror of [trying to] keep this thing going has come to an end for now with this extraordinary generosity."
What a great act of kindness on her part. She will be remembered for her acting, but there are a lot of people who will remember her for something more.