Philanthropy Friday: Therapy Center of Philadelphia

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Alison Gerig talks about Therapy Center of Philadelphia, a local organization that provides affordable psychotherapy on a sliding fee scale to working and low-income women and transgender communities in Philadelphia.

alisongerigWho are you? I am Alison Gerig, the executive director of Therapy Center of Philadelphia (TCP), formerly known as Women’s Therapy Center (WTC). Serving 350 clients a year, our services include individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy as well as music therapy, yoga, and psychological testing. All our services are queer and transgender-affirming and we have queer and trans-identified therapists on staff. We have a unique, low-cost program for those struggling with trauma. All of our services are offered through a feminist lens, attending to how our multiple identities shape our lives and impact the therapeutic relationship. Our services are collaborative, focus on connection, a de-emphasis on diagnosis, and have no treatment limit. Our clients are able to change their lives – they get better and stay better. To make an appointment, simply call 215-567-1111, extension 12.

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PHOTOS: 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala Starring Out NFLer Wade Davis

Friday—after a heated game of dodgeball with local LGBT youth on Thursday—former NFL pro Wade Davis hit up Philadelphia FIGHT‘s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala to serve as keynote speaker. Davis, who came out publicly in 2012, is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

Besides the star power, the gala was rife with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live jazz ensemble, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting FIGHT‘s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) initiative, and the John Bell Health Center.

Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard was there to capture the event on digital film. Check out some of her shots below.

PHOTOS: Gay Holiday Spirits Ran High at TOY

Charitable, in-the-holiday-spirit LGBTers braved the drizzle Saturday night to head to Old City for Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s annual holiday fundraiser, TOY. This was the first time the event was held at Fire & Ice, a club-y space on Market that hosts a handful of LGBT events throughout the year.

The new venue gave the event a little more attitude than years past when it was held at Reading Terminal Market. The space was dark, music—by DJ Carl Michaels—was pumping, and folks mingled in their holiday-inspired threads. In the doorway was a small mountain of unwrapped toys donated from each guest. Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Executive Director—and TOY organizer—Samantha Giusti tells me that, “because of the community’s support, DVLF was able to raise significant funds [from ticket sales and a silent auction] to support the LGBTQ community in the region. We don’t have the final number yet, but we collected over 350 toys to support children served by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and ActionAIDS.”

Freedom G Photography‘s Tara Lessard sent some photos from the evening. Check those out below.

Extra Reading: See photos from last year’s TOY here.

NFL Pro Wade Davis Takes On Philly FIGHT Youth In a Game of Dodge Ball

wade davis football

Openly gay former NFL player Wade Davis is coming to Philly tomorrow to speak at Philadelphia FIGHT’s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala, a fundraiser for the organization’s mission to destroy HIV in Philly and beyond. Before he takes that stage, though, he’s going to warm up with a quick game of dodge ball with some of FIGHT’s youth.

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How to Go Local and Gay, Gay, Gay on #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, and it’s such a breath of fresh air after the insanity that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you haven’t done your giving yet, I’d like to encourage you to open your purse or murse for any number of our local, LGBT nonprofits. There are tons to choose from, and some are offering up special matching-fund programs to make sure your dollar goes a long way.

William Way board member Anh Dang, for instance, is matching all gifts to the LGBT Community Center up to $100. All you have to do is note that your gift is in honor of Anh Dang when you make your donation.

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Here’s How Many Clothes Were Collected for Charity at the Philadelphia Marathon

Volunteers collecting discarded clothing after the Philadelphia Marathon.

Volunteers collecting discarded clothing after the Philadelphia Marathon.

Ever wonder what happens to all those shirts and gloves discarded at a big race? Here in Philly, a local organization called Clothes-pin, which we wrote about in depth here, sends in a team of volunteers to collect, bag and redistribute the goods to homeless shelters across the city.

They’ve been at it for a few years now, cleaning up at races like the Philly Marathon and Broad Street locally as well as big races in other cities, and cofounder Michael Resnic dropped us a note yesterday to give us the final tally on the massive haul from Sunday’s race. “Clothes-pin broke all previous records for clothing collection and donation at the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon,” he said. In all, the group collected about 22,500 articles of clothing—nearly double what they collected four years ago at the same race.

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PHILANTHROPY FRIDAY: Reggie Shuford With ACLU of Pennsylvania

Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, an organization working to do everything from secure total rights for LGBT people to legalizing marijuana to protecting the reproductive rights of women in Pennsylvania.

Reggie Shuford looking like he's about to go get things done.

Reggie Shuford looking like he’s about to go get things done.

Who are you? Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

When was ACLU PA founded? The ACLU of Pennsylvania was founded in 1951. Our national office was founded in 1920.

One-sentence mission statement: The ACLU of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending and expanding the individual rights and personal freedoms afforded to us all by the state and federal constitutions and the Bill of Rights.

The organization’s shining moment, to date? We’ve had multiple high-impact successes over the years, but the one that stands out recently is, of course, Whitewood v. Wolf, our freedom to marry lawsuit that resulted in Pennsylvania becoming the 19th state to allow same-sex couples to get married. A close second would be our win this past year in the voter ID case, which protected the right to vote for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.

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The Roots Create Foundation to Help Students at Philly’s High School of Creative and Performing Arts

A recent $1.1-million budget cut at the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) left the school void of 19 teachers and staff members since it was instated in 2012, plus the loss of a handful of clubs and extracurricular activities and, sadly, the school’s annual theater production.

So what’s a creative arts high school without all that?

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Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative more affectionately known as  GALAEI. (Pronounced “gal-āy.”)

Elicia Gonzales

Elicia Gonzales

Who are you? Elicia Gonzales, executive director of GALAEI. We are a queer Latin@ social justice organization. “Queer” acknowledges and represents the mosaic of sexual and gender identities within our communities. “Latin@” represents the multiracial, multicultural experience of Latinidad. GALAEI embodies the common history of resistance and resilience of Latin@ and queer people. We are unwavering in our commitment to the advancement de nuestra familia through  leadership and economic development, sexual empowerment, and grassroots organizing.

When was GALAEI founded? GALAEI was founded in 1989 by David Acosta and other queer, Latin@ activists to respond to the lack of support and resources for our Queer Latin@ community during the HIV epidemic.

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Philanthropy Friday: Valley Youth House


Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, Valerie Johnson on Warminster’s Valley Youth House, an organization that works to improve the lives of local homeless youth and their families.

Valerie TK and Wired 96.5's  Buster TK at Valley Youth House's annual Casino Night.

Valerie Johnson (L) and Buster from Wired 96.5 at Valley Youth House’s annual Casino Night.

Who are you? Valerie Johnson, development officer at Valley Youth House.

Valley Youth House was founded in … 1973.

One-sentence mission statement: The mission of Valley Youth House is to provide prevention and intervention services, counseling, life skills and behavioral health services to abused, neglected, and homeless youth and their families.

Our biggest shining moment, to date was the inception of our Pride housing program in 2009. We are the only organization in Philadelphia to provide rapid rehousing to homeless LGBTQ youth, which includes rental assistance and supportive services to prepare the youth for independence. Given that 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT compared to just 3 to 5 percent of the general population, these youth are experiencing homelessness at a disproportionate rate and we’re proud to be able to support them.

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