Philanthropy Friday: Bebashi

Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, Bebashi-Transition of Hope, an organization that works to provide healthcare information, direct services, education, research and technical assistance to reduce and eliminate HIV/AIDS and other health disparities within the urban community of Philadelphia and its vicinity.

Gary J. Bell, executive director of Bebashi-Transition of Hope.

Gary J. Bell, executive director of Bebashi-Transition of Hope.

Who are you? My name is Gary J. Bell and I am the executive director of Bebashi-Transition to Hope. Bebashi was the first African American based AIDS service organization in the United States and remains one of Philadelphia’s largest community-based minority providers of HIV/AIDS education and services, serving more than 20,000 clients annually.  We offer a comprehensive continuum of prevention and care, which includes HIV counseling and testing, integrated screening for STDs, Hepatitis C, and pregnancy; culturally sensitive and competent prevention education, medical case management, community-based education programs; outreach services; support groups; HIV discharge planning for recently released inmates; breast cancer awareness and screening for high-risk African American women; and a hunger relief program.

When was Bebashi founded? In 1985 by Rashidah Abdul-Khabeer and Wesley Anderson as BEBASHI (Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues). The purpose was to address the impact of HIV/AIDS and other sexual health disparities in communities of color at a time when there was no other organization in the United States doing so.  Five years ago we changed our name to ensure that our openness and availability to all people was not misunderstood based on our acronym.

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Philanthropy Friday: The LGBT Elder Initiative (LGBTEI)

LGBT Elder Initiative

Every Friday Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. This week, the LGBT Elder Initiative, an awesome DVLF grantee who works to promote healthy aging among LGBTQ older adults—the pioneers of our movement (and us, one day.) 

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Heshie Zinman, chair of the LGBT Elder Initiative.

Who are you? Heshie Zinman, chair of the LGBT Elder Initiative (LGBTEI). We are a volunteer-driven, grassroots organization dedicated to building bridges between the aging services network and LGBT older adults. We focus on improving awareness of, and access to, the services offered by the aging services network and those available within LGBT communities.

When was LGBTEI founded? LGBTEI was founded in 2010 as a result of the LGBT Elder Survey and a Community Summit on Aging that attracted over 125 people from more than 20 states.

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PHOTOS: Our Night Out at The Ritz-Carlton

It was a swanky (and PACKED) Wednesday evening affair as gay Philly drank, socialized, and nibbled their way through the iconic Ritz-Carlton on the Avenue of the Arts. The ever-popular Our Night Out happy hour and social-networking event was hosted by OPAL, an umbrella organization that aims to unify LGBTQ sporing groups throughout Philadelphia. Of course, everyone has to thank the great folks at the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund for coordinating Our Night Out and making it one of the best social events every month. We were there to capture everyone’s snazzy attire and handsome smiles.



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Philanthropy Friday: Delaware Valley Legacy Fund

DVLF TOY

Welcome to our new weekly series, Philanthropy Fridays, where Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. She gets things started with a peek into her work at DVLF, an organization that works to provide resources LGBT-focused non profits in the city. 

DVLFI am … Samantha Giusti, social change agent and executive director of Delaware Valley Legacy Fund.

When was the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund founded? 1993.

The organization’s mission statement is … Fostering positive change through grant-making, scholarships, advocacy, programming and education.

Our biggest shining moment to date was … The day DVLF’s endowment surpassed the $1-million mark. We have a growing pipeline of almost $10 million, because of our generous Legacy Society members who have left a gift to DVLF in their will.

Finish this sentence: If a check for $1 million found its way to my doorstep … I would cry with joy. That would allow us to fund so many LGBT organizations doing vitally important work.

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PHOTOS: Our Night Out at The Pyramid Club

Our Night Out Header

Last evening, gay Philly was treated to breathtaking views from the 52nd floor of the BYN Mellon Center, otherwise known as The Pyramid Club. The exclusive space opened its doors as part of the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s Our Night Out program. Guests had the chance to preview DVLF’s upcoming holiday extravaganza, TOY 2014, and were offered a chance to purchase discount tickets to the popular event; one lucky guest won a pair of tickets as part of a raffle. We were there to capture the mingling, the cocktails, and the really great looking crowd.



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TOY to be Held at Fire & Ice This Year

TOYTo celebrate its eighth anniversary, TOY, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s annual charity gala for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), will move from Reading Terminal Market, where it has been held for the past two years, to Fire & Ice in Old City.

I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to hear it was moving. It really seemed like the event was becoming synonymous with RTM, where people would gather after hours to hobnob and bring toys that would be donated to the pediatric HIV/AIDS unit at CHOP. It was fabulous there. Why is it moving?

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Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Divvies Out $32,000 to Philly LGBT Organizations

It truly is Christmas in July for eight local LGBT non-profits who will benefit from a $32,000 grant from Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF.) The money will be divided between each organization, and used to fund a specific program within each group. DVLF Executive Director Samantha Giusti tells me the money comes from the organization’s 2014 LGBTQ Emerging Needs Grant. Benefactors are chosen by a panel of community members “who have a diverse array of lived experience and professional knowledge in a variety areas” based on best practices, benchmarks, outcomes, and financials, she says.

This year’s recipients are:

“Every year I am more impressed by the ingenuity displayed by our community members at creating innovative programming to meet emerging needs faced by LGBTQ people in our region,” says Giusti. “Less than .3 percent of the over 50 billion given annually by U.S. foundations goes to LGBTQ issues. It’s a grave statistic as it is neither representative of the size of our community nor it’s need. With these grants we hope that we can be responsive to the the emerging needs in our community.”

PHOTOS: Our Night Out at The Four Seasons Hotel

Our Night Out Header

On Monday, July 21, the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund teamed up with the Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League (who will be making history in October when they host Gay Bowl XIV, the championship tournament for the National Gay Flag Football League) to welcome guests from around Philadelphia at the oh-so-swanky Four Seasons Hotel.  Attendees at this Our Night Out were treated to a gorgeous outdoor patio, plenty of cocktails, and lots of summer evening fun.  We were there to snap some shots that captured the night perfectly.

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