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Years ago his parents sent a black wreath to his office to let him know he was dead to them.

A few weeks ago more than 1,100 Moms of lgbtq kids signed a letter to support him and let him know we stand beside him.

He responded with more than 1,100 Thank Yous!

One of my favorite things about Serendipitydodah for Moms are the letters of support that we send out. We send our letters to individuals, organizations, businesses and institutions that are helping to make the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all lgbtq people. The members of Serendipitydodah can request to have their name added to the letters we send. We sent our first group letter in the spring of 2015 with less than 200 signatures. Today our letter has more than 1,100 signatures.

Recently, after seeing him on Making It, the NBC reality competition series co-hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, we decided to send a letter to Jeff Rudell.

Jeff was one of the “makers” on Making It and told a bit of his story during one of the episodes.

Jeff told how his family rejected him when he came out to them as gay and how his parents went so far as to send a black wreath to his place of employment with a card that said “in memory of our dead son”.

His story broke the hearts of the members of Serendipitydodah and we wanted to reach out and let Jeff know that we stood with him and admired him for having the courage to share his story.

We sent the following letter with more than 1,100 names of moms of lgbtq kids added to the letter:

Dear Jeffrey,

We are members of Serendipitydodah for Moms, a large private Facebook group created in June 2014 for moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids.

We presently have more than 3,100 members in the group and many of us are working to bring attention to acceptance and equality of LGBTQ people.

We are writing to you because we want you to know that we were encouraged when you shared your story on Making It. Of course we were sad and broken hearted to hear about the way your parents abandoned and rejected you, but we are so thankful that you are willing to share your story because we believe it is important for others to hear stories like your own. We also want to let you know we care about you and recognize the courage it took for you to share your story publicly. We are moms who understand because some of our own children have had to exhibit the same kind of courage when they finally determined to come out and begin living fully into the person they were created to be.

Although there is a lot of ignorance and hate out there, we want to encourage you. Every day there are more and more people who are supportive and affirming of LGBTQ people. The tide is turning and things are getting better. Laws are changing and many, many people do care about you and support you.

So, hang in there and keep dreaming and striving to live a full, happy, successful, good life. 

More than 1,100 of us are signing our names to this letter with much love, gratitude and encouragement sent your way. We think you are amazing! We love your creativity and are rooting for you and wish you the best in all that you do!

Thank you for the way you are encouraging others just by being your authentic self.

We will continue to fight for you and support you just as you are.

Love is the movement,

(followed by 1,100+ names of moms of lgbtq kids)

BUT that isn’t the best part!!

The best part is that Jeff responded with a beautifully written thank you AND INCLUDED A THANK YOU FOR EACH NAME ON THE LETTER!!!

Yes, you read that right.

Jeff Rudell took the time to type out a thank you for more than 1,100 moms who signed the letter of support we sent to him.

Jeff Rudell took the time to send us more than 1,100 thank yous.

Needless to say, we were blown away.

Spreading love is amazing because so much of it always comes right back at you.

Here is Jeff’s response (you probably want to grab a kleenex):

Dear Liz:

I hope you will forgive me the informal manner of my address but, after weeping over your letter for a good 20 minutes, I feel like we are close enough that I can call you by your first name.

I am deeply moved by your note. Humbled. Encouraged. Overwhelmed. In truth, your note affected me in quite a few ways. Chief among them, however, was a deep feeling of joy that the world contains people such as yourself and all the other members of your group. It was not always so. That you all have gathered together, in love, gives me more than a little hope for all our futures.

I agree with you that stories such as my own need to be told. Too often shame or fear keeps people from sharing their experiences and that leaves so many others in the dark, feeling isolated and helpless. I was happy and honored to be able to speak of my own history (and I was deeply impressed that NBC was willing to include it in the final edit of the show). As you well know, my story, awful as it may be, is in no way unique or unusual. LGBTQ children everywhere go through the same thing I went through, or worse, every day.

I was uncertain, and a little anxious, about what sort of response my appearance on the show might receive. One hears horror stories about trolls and haters on social media. To my great delight, I am happy to report that the responses have — across the board — been positive, hopeful, encouraging, and loving. A 22-year-old man and woman offered to adopt me as their son. A grandmother in her 80s offered my husband and me use of her spare bedroom should we ever find ourselves in need of shelter or respite in the mountains of Kentucky. I have a standing invitation to Thanksgiving dinner at the home of more than 100 different families across America. And the messages of love and support go far beyond even those kind gestures.

Your note, however, was the one that hit hardest. That so many of your have come together, united in your efforts to retain relationships with your LGBTQ children…honest to God I cannot imagine a more beautiful thing, anywhere, ever. Thank you for the work you are doing. Thank you for loving your children (and thus helping to make more loving citizens). Most of all, and most selfishly, thank you for sharing that love with me. You have helped make me a better person with this gift.

With very best regards to each and every one of you!

Sincerely,

Jeffery

P.S.

I’m sorry for my delay in writing but I wanted to take time to read each name aloud, and say thank you. Such an act of kindness takes time to absorb and appreciate and having each of these names in my mouth helped me find a place for each of them in my heart.

J.

Thank you, Liz Dyer, Founder & Owner

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Thank you, Marcia Jonczak

Thank you, Marcia Kooger

Thank you, Marcie Castiglione

Thank you, Margaret Martin

Thank you, Margi Wilmans 

Thank you, Margie Candler

Thank you, Maria Breeden

Thank you, Maria Iacona

Thank you, Maria Mongelli Glanzmann

Thank you, Marianne Minier Walker

Thank you, Marie Vincent Turnbull

Thank you, Marilyn Fowler Brownjohn

Thank you, Marilyn Weaver Folk

Thank you, Marilynn Bourne Fowler

Thank you, Marjorie Rudolph

Thank you, Marla Hagemeyer

Thank you, Marlene Hoefer Brummond

Thank you, Marlene Lund

Thank you, Marsha Ladd

Thank you, Marsha McCollum

Thank you, Martha Jr Conley

Thank you, Martha Maust

Thank you, Martha Parshall Richards

Thank you, Marti Parsons Grahl

Thank you, Mary Anicich

Thank you, Mary Ann Grisham

Thank you, Mary Carter Knisley

Thank you, Mary Davidson

Thank you, Mary Estelle Montgomery

Thank you, Mary Figueroa-Garrison

Thank you, Mary Jo Whitley

Thank you, Mary Kay Weil

Thank you, Mary Prados Peterson

Thank you, Mary Price

Thank you, Mary Siever

Thank you, Mary Walton

Thank you, MaryRuth Green Gossett

Thank you, Maureen Anne Claffy

Thank you, Maureen Harden

Thank you, Meg Shull Bierwirth

Thank you, Meghan Fisher Brandes

Thank you, Melanie Burke

Thank you, Melea Broekers

Thank you, Melina Madolora Wikoff

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Thank you, Melinda Shatzer Bowersox

Thank you, Melissa Ballard

Thank you, Melissa Brady Silva

Thank you, Melissa Everet

Thank you, Melissa Hinebauch

Thank you, Melissa Morritt Coble

Thank you, Melissa Narvaez

Thank you, Melissa Nicholson Smallwood

Thank you, Melissa Podolak McGuire

Thank you, Melissa René Everet

Thank you, Melissa Rogers

Thank you, Melissa Sosenko DeStefano

Thank you, Melissa Stevenson

Thank you, Melissa Talarico

Thank you, Melissa Torres

Thank you, Melissa Wegner

Thank you, Melody Dolle

Thank you, Melynda Madrid

Thank you, Meredith Webster Indermaur

Thank you, Merrell Dilsavor

Thank you, Merryl Dietz

Thank you, Michele Engle

Thank you, Michele Harrison West

Thank you, Michele Manuel Fuselier

Thank you, Michele Wessel Tarnow

Thank you, Michelle Black

Thank you, Michelle Bradshaw McComb

Thank you, Michelle Brittain Rovine

Thank you, Michelle Eckmayer

Thank you, Michelle Irion Jackson

Thank you, Michelle Knotts Gill

Thank you, Michelle Martin Gardner

Thank you, Michelle McCann

Thank you, Michelle Melom

Thank you, Michelle Oh

Thank you, Michelle Selengowski

Thank you, Michelle Vosejpka

Thank you, Michelle Wallace

Thank you, Michelle Zulch

Thank you, Millie Donnell

Thank you, Mimi Lemay

Thank you, Miranda Devenport

Thank you, Miriam Pendley

Thank you, Miriam Righter

Thank you, Missy Keaton

Thank you, Missy Moore Weening

Thank you, Misty Dupuis

Thank you, Molly Griffin

Thank you, Molly Williams Broderick

Thank you, Molly Wills Carnes

Thank you, Monica Ausderau Larmon

Thank you, Monica Luna Bliss

Thank you, Monica Maday

Thank you, Monica Neu Kwarta

Thank you, Monica-Niki Elenbaas

Thank you, Monique Rodas

Thank you, Morven Roberts Baker

Thank you, Nanci Tillman Slagle

Thank you, Nancy Adams Smith

Thank you, Nancy Barron Booher

Thank you, Nancy Dryer Deeb

Thank you, Nancy Johnson Campbell

Thank you, Nancy MacDonald

Thank you, Nancy Ruh

Thank you, Nancy Thompson Flikkema

Thank you, Nancy Villegas

Thank you, Nancy Wance

Thank you, Nancy Williams Eakin

Thank you, Nanette Sanderson Sparrow

Thank you, Natalie Murray

Thank you, Nicole Blagg

Thank you, Nicole Garrison Park

Thank you, Nicole Havlen Hair

Thank you, Nicole Mohr

Thank you, Nikki Holmes

Thank you, Noreen Sharp Wendeln

Thank you, Ofelia Dafne’ Barba Navarro

Thank you, Olivia Santos

Thank you, Paige Gant

Thank you, Paige Stover

Thank you, Pam Cotton

Thank you, Pam Ensinger Antos

Thank you, Pam Graeler

Thank you, Pam Moreau

Thank you, Pam Swendig

Thank you, Pam Walsh

Thank you, Pamela Davidson Lorton

Thank you, Pamela Fields

Thank you, Pamila Moore Gantt

Thank you, Patricia Berning

Thank you, Patricia Sjöberg

Thank you, Patti Atwood Grossman

Thank you, Patti Detzel

Thank you, Patti Higgins

Thank you, Patti Mercer Churner

Thank you, Patti Stone

Thank you, Patti Stratton

Thank you, Patty Abrams Snader

Thank you, Patty Loraine Woodruff

Thank you, Patty Meriwether

Thank you, Patty Yamsek

Thank you, Paula Unrau

Thank you, Pauline Carlson

Thank you, Pauline Cieri

Thank you, Pauline Daly

Thank you, Peggy Graff-Perrett

Thank you, Peggy Knight

Thank you, Penny Watne

Thank you, Phyllis Barber

Thank you, Rachael Hawkins

Thank you, Rachel Belknap

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Thank you, Rachel Drouillard

Thank you, Rachel Eve

Thank you, Rachel Fields

Thank you, Rachel Keyte

Thank you, Rachel Ross Boone

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Thank you, Rachel Whitehall

Thank you, Rebecca Armstrong

Thank you, Rebecca Baxter

Thank you, Rebecca Fako Uecker

Thank you, Rebecca Hedges Lyon

Thank you, Rebecca Little Swinney

Thank you, Rebecca Nei

Thank you, Rebecca Roberts

Thank you, Rebecca Sayre

Thank you, Rebecca Wilson

Thank you, Regina Pitts Woods

Thank you, Renae Erickson

Thank you, Renae Shaffer-Stone

Thank you, Renay Boyes

Thank you, Renee Cuffe

Thank you, Renee Hartweg

Thank you, Renee K Williams Erwin

Thank you, Renee Utley Bennink

Thank you, Rhonda Eubanks

Thank you, Rhonda Hartzell

Thank you, Rhonda Morrison

Thank you, Rhonda Smith Mailhos

Thank you, Rhonda Wills-Johnson

Thank you, Riah Daniels

Thank you, Rika Moya

Thank you, Rita Daruvala

Thank you, Rob Ullinger

Thank you, Robbin Ramseur

Thank you, Robin Beck

Thank you, Robin Burt Schuster

Thank you, Robin Gowan

Thank you, Robin Preece Parker

Thank you, Robin Protsman

Thank you, Robin Spring

Thank you, Robinette Nacca-Cooke

Thank you, Robyn Deterding

Thank you, Robyn S Haag

Thank you, Robynne Buckingham

Thank you, Rogena ‘Reggie’ Johnson

Thank you, Roh Hardin

Thank you, Ronda Zylstra

Thank you, Ʀosaııie Ĺane

Thank you, Rose Nemcosky Arneson

Thank you, Rose Stucchio

Thank you, Roseanne M. Shannon

Thank you, Rosemarie Varrichio Campbell

Thank you, Rossana Neglia McLaughlin

Thank you, Roxanna Villars Gambrell

Thank you, S Anderson

Thank you, S Brae Adams

Thank you, Samantha Jill

Thank you, Samantha Nelson

Thank you, Samara LaRusch Jenkins

Thank you, SanDee Hunter Duncan

Thank you, Sandra Cathers

Thank you, Sandra Gainer Fuentes

Thank you, Sandra Miller Lenard

Thank you, Sandra Nelson Harris

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Thank you, Sandra Vincent Richard

Thank you, Sandy Acevedo Degenhardt

Thank you, Sandy Collins

Thank you, Sandy Gregg

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Thank you, Sara Cunningham

Thank you, Sara Hoel May

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Thank you, Sara Oliver

Thank you, Sara Vazquez

Thank you, Sarah Keller Garcia

Thank you, Sarah Langley

Thank you, Sarah Mills Holbrook

Thank you, Sarah Sherman Rocha

Thank you, Sarah Thacker-Estell 

Thank you, Shannen Rhoda

Thank you, Shannon Eaton

Thank you, Shannon Jarvis

Thank you, Shannon Keefe

Thank you, Shannon Mcpherson Doherty

Thank you, Shannon Sharesky

Thank you, Sharon Hanby Williams

Thank you, Sharon Harding

Thank you, Sharon Parish

Thank you, Shawn Rozett Senning

Thank you, Shawna Dicintio

Thank you, Shay Bisbee Haude

Thank you, Shelley Holland

Thank you, Shelley McBride

Thank you, Shelly Willis

Thank you, Sheri Martin 

Thank you, Sherilynn Hickenbottom

Thank you, Sherri Jackson Simancas

Thank you, Sherrl McFerrin Townsend

Thank you, Sherry Baisden

Thank you, Sherry Pyles

Thank you, Sheryl T Martin

Thank you, Sheryl Warren Olszewski

Thank you, Shirley Carley

Thank you, Sondy Eklund

Thank you, Sonia Garza

Thank you, Sonya Hook

Thank you, Spring Davidson

Thank you, Stacey Frazier

Thank you, Stacey Jackson Baeumler

Thank you, Stacey Wadle

Thank you, Staci Lee Kennelly

Thank you, Stacie Houghtaling Belair

Thank you, Stacy Gouge Drake

Thank you, Stefani Ragsdale

Thank you, Stefanie Bianchi Connolly

Thank you, Stephanie Anderson

Thank you, Stephanie Bullock

Thank you, Stephanie Coleman Mack

Thank you, Stephanie Daniels

Thank you, Stephanie Ernst

Thank you, Stephanie Gilbert

Thank you, Stephanie Kreps

Thank you, Stephanie McGreger

Thank you, Stephanie Niles Ray

Thank you, Stephanie Redding

Thank you, Stephanie Stanley

Thank you, Stephanie Thomas

Thank you, Stevie Prince

Thank you, Sue Cottle

Thank you, Sue Ellen Ward Lowe

Thank you, Sue Howard

Thank you, Sue Reynolds

Thank you, Sue Schultz

Thank you, Sue Stewart Newman

Thank you, Sue Tresatti

Thank you, Sue West Helms

Thank you, Susan Berland

Thank you, Susan Boyce

Thank you, Susan Cloys Seaman

Thank you, Susan Dollar Michaels

Thank you, Susan Foss Naranjo-Stultz

Thank you, Susan Hammontree Fortney

Thank you, Susan Jewell

Thank you, Susan Ledbetter

Thank you, Susan Mackenzie Treber

Thank you, Susan Merritt Slattery

Thank you, Susan Metcalf

Thank you, Susan Rest Asplund

Thank you, Susan Ridley Griffin

Thank you, Susan Stockton Roberts

Thank you, Susan Wardzinski

Thank you, Susanna Bedser

Thank you, Susy Rowe Barnhill

Thank you, Suzanne Alexander

Thank you, Suzanne Lambert Mann

Thank you, Suzanne Martin

Thank you, Sylvia Davis

Thank you, Tamara Darbin

Thank you, Tamara Kaye Hooper

Thank you, Tamara Totoro Dick

Thank you, Tammi Perkins

Thank you, Tammi Woodward

Thank you, Tammie Jarnagan

Thank you, Tammy Chism Madley

Thank you, Tammy Flowers Mejdrich

Thank you, Tammy O’Brine

Thank you, Tammy Warren Tearoe

Thank you, Tammy Watchel

Thank you, Tammy Watson

Thank you, Tammy Wenzinger

Thank you, Tamra Jennings

Thank you, Tana Lightbown Hendricks

Thank you, Tanya Higgins

Thank you, Tanya Hutchinson

Thank you, Tanza Bauer

Thank you, Tara Dominy Bonner

Thank you, Tara Lawrence

Thank you, Tara Nicole

Thank you, Tara Soughers

Thank you, Tari Card

Thank you, Tasha Moreno

Thank you, Tenley Dyck

Thank you, Teresa Comby Childers

Thank you, Teresa Martenson

Thank you, Teresa Medlin Poston

Thank you, Teresa Parker

Thank you, Teresa Perkins

Thank you, Teressa L’Heureux

Thank you, Teri Henderson

Thank you, Teri Stueland Kay

Thank you, Terri Cook

Thank you, Terri Gervasi

Thank you, Terri Nolt

Thank you, Terri Schempf

Thank you, Terri Smith

Thank you, Terri White

Thank you, Terry Hall Sanchez

Thank you, Terry Moran

Thank you, Theresa Cooper

Thank you, Theresa Moore Martinez

Thank you, Theresa Tasker

Thank you, Tiffany Christie

Thank you, Tiffany Powell

Thank you, Tina Marie

Thank you, Tina Pawlick

Thank you, Tina Peck Rumbley

Thank you, Tina Thomas

Thank you, Tina Wesley

Thank you, Tonda Campbell Hoyt 

Thank you, Toni Ann Bradley

Thank you, Toni Black Sanchez

Thank you, Toni Dyer

Thank you, Torri Winright

Thank you, Tracey Gombold Bell

Thank you, Tracey Jo Pryor

Thank you, Tracey Reams

Thank you, Tracie Mickey Loux

Thank you, Tracie Sells

Thank you, Tracy Decker Chappell

Thank you, Tracy Jepson

Thank you, Tracy Kane

Thank you, Tracy Stittleburg

Thank you, Tracy Trotter Nagy

Thank you, Tracy Williams Matos

Thank you, Tricia Kaufman-Waddell 

Thank you, Tricia Rogan Alberts Bollmann

Thank you, Tricia Willard 

Thank you, Trish Ives

Thank you, Valencia Greene Foster

Thank you, Valerie Amoling Cronin

Thank you, Valerie Glines Messina

Thank you, Vanessa Ford

Thank you, Vanessa Goosen

Thank you, Vanessa Horton-Hendershot

Thank you, Vanessa Melchiori

Thank you, Vicki Delong Tacoma

Thank you, Vicki Evans Sevey

Thank you, Vicki Kemp Whorton

Thank you, Vicki Kluzek

Thank you, Vicki Luna

Thank you, Vicki March Belsterling

Thank you, Vicki Westphal

Thank you, Vicki Wimmer Johnson

Thank you, Vicky Barnes

Thank you, Vicky Snow Decker

Thank you, Victoria Larson

Thank you, Vlada Knowlton

Thank you, Wendie S Dillehay

Thank you, Wendy Brown

Thank you, Wendy French

Thank you, Wendy Harley

Thank you, Wendy Koster

Thank you, Wendy Lea

Thank you, Wendy Margaret Jennings

Thank you, Wendy Swanson

Thank you, Wendy Vinson Nelson

Thank you, Wendy Wiley Canedy

Thank you, Whitney Straub

Thank you, Whitney Treloar

Thank you, Whitney Webb

Thank you, Yvette Griego

Thank you, Yvonne Frith

Thank you, Zaneta Salde Encarnacion

Thank you, Zenia Robertson

Thank you, Zora Oh    


Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears” The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 3,100 members. For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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