Daniel Pierce is paying it forward.
The teen who has received over $90,000 in donations since he was disowned by his parents for being gay has, in turn, donated a portion of that money to Lost-n-Found Youth, a nonprofit that is working to remodel a house in Atlanta, Georgia to serve as a homeless shelter for gay teens.
Pierce gained the attention when a video recording from a cellphone of him talking to his parents was posted on YouTube and went viral, with over 5 millions views. In the video, he comes out to his parents, but then gets into an argument over the biology of his sexuality versus the religious perspective on homosexuality. His parents disown him and tell him he can't live in their house anymore. Sounds of violence against the teen and the reactions afterward can be heard before the video ends.
Pierce contacted Lost-n-Found about donating to the effort to create the shelter. The nonprofit wants to help teens similar to Pierce, who have faced rejection from their families.
"People need to know this is an epidemic in the southeast, and it's not going away any time soon. Until we get all the queer youths in Atlanta situated, I'm not going anywhere," said Lost-n-Found Executive Director Rick Westbrook to CBS46 News.
Westbrook stated the nonprofit paid for use of the abandoned Victorian home from St. Mark's United Methodist Church, in a 20-year lease at a rate of $1 a year. "I've already paid the rent, yes," said a smiling Westbrook.
Pierce received the donation to cover living expenses while he gets his life together after being thrown out, but he is now directing people to donate to Lost-n-Found instead.
"I would say we're right at $10,000 (through Pierce donations), said Westbrook. "Daniel is an incredibly bright and courageous young man. He is the epitome of who Lost-n-Found is here to serve."
Westbrook expects the renovations on the building to be complete and for the shelter to open by the spring of 2015.
Lost-n-Found Youth was founded in December 2011 to help homeless Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer youth. In 2014, the nonprofit was named 'Humanitarian of the Year' by the Human Rights Campaign of Atlanta and the 'Best LGBT Nonprofit of 2014' by the readers of the Georgia Voice.