The Matthew Shepard Foundation is a national non-profit 501c3 organization, founded in December 1998 by Dennis and Judy Shepard. It was established in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming. The Foundation was created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations. Initial funds came from the many donations sent by people from all over the world in Matt’s memory to assist with his medical expenses. Matthew’s family decided it was more important to use these donations in a foundation for the greater good of the community.