Pride

Dan Reynolds Teams Up With Apple & More to Fund 8 New LGBTQ Youth Centers Around the U.S.

Dan Reynolds
Encircle

Dan Reynolds

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds is joining forces with Apple, Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith, and his wife Aja Volkman to make life a little bit easier for LGBTQ youth in America.

On Thursday (Feb. 25), Encircle -- a Utah non-profit offering community resources for LGBTQ youth -- announced a major expansion deal to bring their mission to more locations. Titled “$8 Million, 8 Houses,'' the new capital campaign aims to raise enough money to build eight new Encircle homes in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

To help kick off the campaign, Encircle enlisted "leaders representing tech, sports, and entertainment" for their help. Dan Reynolds and his wife Aja donated the singer's childhood home in Las Vegas, NV (valued at $1 million) to the new campaign. Ryan and Ashley Smith, similarly, will contribute $2 million, while Apple will donate $1 million and contribute "products that promote digital connection, creativity and education."

“Encircle is about bringing young LGBTQ+ people and their families together, by including the community and strengthening the bonds that connect us,” Reynolds and Volkman said in a statement. “Being a part of this organization means so much to both of us — and we know the house Dan grew up in will be a loving and supportive home to every young LGBTQ+ person who crosses the threshold.”

Stephenie Larsen founded Encircle in 2017 with the goal of creating spaces for LGBTQ kids too feel safe to express themselves and get the help they need. Today, Encircle homes provide a wide variety of services, including therapy, mental health services, daily community programs, support groups and more. Currently, Encircle has three operating homes in Utah, located in Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George, with their newest home currently being built in Heber.

“We are extremely grateful that these global leaders see the vision of the profound work we are doing for LGBTQ+ youth and families throughout our communities,” Larsen said in a statement. “Studies repeatedly have shown that LGBTQ+ youth across the country struggle with depression and suicidality far more than their heterosexual peers, and the pandemic has made that sense of isolation so many feel harder than ever before ... this incredible support makes our nationwide expansion possible and will improve countless LGBTQ+ lives - reminding them that they are perfect, just as they are.”

Check out Encircle's official announcement video below: