America’s favorite pop star is as generous as they come. When an 11-year-old fan was diagnosed with cancer and could no longer attend Taylor Swift’s concert, the “Bad Blood” singer generously donated $50,000 to the fan’s GoFundMe page and left a heartfelt message to brighten her day.
Today, Thursday, May 21st, is Give OUT Day, a national, 24-hour campaign that rallies donors for LGBTQ-specific causes. Samantha Giusti, executive director of local nonprofit-championing Delaware Valley Legacy Fund explains more: “For 24-hours, the LGBTQ community and its allies from across the country will come together to raise critically needed funds to support the diverse array of LGBTQ nonprofits including community centers, arts groups, organizers, clinics, student clubs, sports leagues and more.” Last year, she says, 13,000 people donated to raise more than $1 million for over 500 LGBT causes nationwide.
There’s no denying that there are a plethora of worthy organizations all across the country that deserve our dollars, but, naturally, we’d like to see some of our local organizations rack up some serious cash, too.
By doing a simple search for “Philadelphia” on the Give OUT Day site, I found a handful of statewide non-profits set up to receive donations. Here they are (with links to their giving pages.):
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and his wife, Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, will speak at the Penn Museum next week in what will be the first public program hosted by the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation (MNSF). The organization supports the grassroots efforts of leaders who are “working to remove the barriers and eliminate inequities created by poverty.”
ActionAIDS‘s 25th annual Dining Out for Life (DOFL) takes place in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley on April 30th, with nearly 200 restaurants and food trucks in the region taking part. If you’re new to the game, this is how it works: On that evening participating restaurants will donate 33 percent of every check to a variety of regional HIV/AIDS service organizations, including ActionAIDS, AIDS Delaware, and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. DOFL is one of my favorite ways to donate, because it’s such an easy, fun, and delicious way to give to a worthy cause.
Like last year, DOFL will be closing off a block at a yet-to-be-announced location to host a lunchtime food festival of sorts with the participating food trucks. Stay tuned for more information on that.
You can find the complete list of local restaurants participating below, divided into neighborhood/region. Look for your favorite spot, and fire up OpenTable to make reservations. Tables fill up fast.
A gaggle of Philly gays (and some allies) will channel their inner frat boy for the Gay Bowl Committee and National Multiple Sclerosis Society‘s second annual Flip Cup Tournament. The event — a fundraiser for both organizations and gay-run theater company Mazeppa Productions — calls on different teams to play everyone’s favorite college drinking game in the attempt to be crowned Philly’s next Flip Cup champion.
“The MS Society has long traditions of doing innovative and out-of-the-box fundraisers, and the gang at Gay Bowl wanted something unique that seemed kinda sporty,” Chatterblast founder Matthew Ray says, explaining the thinking behind the tournament. He, along with Field House and Gay Bowl rep Tim Adams, helped organize the event. “We gays haven’t always embraced our ‘frat-tastic’ side,'” he says, “but over the last few years I have participated in more and more drinking games at homo parties. So it seemed like something cuckoo that might be fun.”
If you’re going to run, anyway, you might as well do it for charity, right? Right. Check out these races coming up in the next few months, from competitive 5Ks and eight-milers to everything in between.
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which “envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.”
Who are you? Katherine Sprissler-Klein, member of the HRC Board of Governors and co-chair of the 2015 HRC Greater Philadelphia Gala Dinner and Marvin Rocha, co-chair of the 2015 HRC Greater Philadelphia Dinner. For the last 18 years, HRC has hosted its annual gala to engage corporate partners and local individuals in the fight for LGBT equality. We volunteer our free time, along with our amazing committee to host our annual dinner.
Philanthropy Friday: AccessMatters Works to Promote Sexual Health in Underserved Communities of Philadephia
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, AccessMatters, a local organization working to promote sexual and reproductive health for individuals, families and communities.
Who are you? Melissa Weiler Gerber, president and CEO of AccessMatters, and Jermel Wallace, senior manager of AccessMatters’ LGBT Health Initiatives. For more than 40 years, our organization has been working to successfully eliminate economic, social, cultural, and geographic barriers to care for more than 200,000 people annually in southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. Through research, training, delivery of evidenced-based programs, community engagement and advocacy, AccessMatters is leading the way in transforming access to sexual and reproductive health.
When was AccessMatters founded? AccessMatters, formerly Family Planning Council, was founded in 1972. Our LGBT Health Initiatives, formerly known in the community as “SafeGuards,” began in 1989.
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Kevin Burns tells us about ActionAIDS‘ first HIV primary care clinic, which opened earlier this month, and other ways the local nonprofit is making sure no one in Philadelphia has to face AIDS alone.
Who are you? I’m Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.
When was ActionAIDS founded? In 1986, at a time when governmental and philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS services was nearly non-existent. A group of 84 committed volunteers came together in Philadelphia and formed a community of care for their partners, family and friends with AIDS. ActionAIDS was the result, with a mission statement that read simply: “ActionAIDS believes that no one should face AIDS alone.”
What’s ActionAIDS’s shining moment, to date?: The opening of our West Annex Clinic earlier this month. After many months of planning, we’re excited to have launched our first HIV primary care clinic, in partnership with the Family Practice and Counseling Network. This clinical service will be coordinated closely with our medical case management services, also provided at the West Annex and focused on our clients at high-risk to be lost to care. Our medical case management services are highly effective in retaining clients in care, and the West Annex Clinic will increase our ability to do that. The initial effect of case management services is particularly dramatic: Average viral load drops 76 percent during the first six months.
One-sentence mission statement? ActionAIDS is committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies, including medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services.