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    Nonprofits That Need an Extra Hug of Love by Way of Donations or Volunteers

    By Liam P. Mayclem–

    Hello friends,

    I am hoping one and all are healthy and mustering as best you can during this COVID-19 pandemic.

    Many are struggling during this period with lack of work, lack of income, depleted savings accounts—the list goes on, but there are always others that have it worse.

    So, in times of crisis, I always want to seek out the helpers, the doers, and the community leaders, for they are the ones that remind us that to serve others is the greatest gift of all and not only to those on the receiving end. 

    I have had the joy of serving as a volunteer in soup kitchens or for food delivery programs, but have also performed as an auctioneer or emcee at hundreds of LGBTQ nonprofit events. It’s indeed an honor always to serve and give back to the community that has given me and my partner Rick so much.

    That said, there are a few nonprofits that are near and dear to me that need an extra hug of love by way of donations or volunteers at this challenging time.

    Marsha P. Johnson Institute

    The institute is run by Elle Hearns and its aim is to create a social justice initiative as well as policy and programming for Black trans women. Elle made history when she led the design of the first ever Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, Ohio, and co-founded the Black Lives Matter Global Network. This work is crucial right now. We have lost too many trans women of color. They will not be forgotten and instead will be remembered for the bright, brilliant, beautiful lights they were and are. Please donate. Please remember the many lives tragically cut short. 
    #blacktranslivesmatter #blacklivesmatter
    https://marshap.org/

    Project Open Hand

    Project Open Hand’s missionis to improve health outcomes and quality of life by providing nutritious meals to the sick and vulnerable, caring for and educating our community.

    Twenty years ago, Tom Nolan introduced me to Project Open Hand. I would show up for many years on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning for a live-shoot for KRON 4 and then would hang around and prep potatoes or bag up meals for delivery. I also worked as an emcee for their annual gala. They serve the most vulnerable in Oakland and San Francisco and do so with love and compassion. https://www.openhand.org/

    San Francisco AIDS Foundation

    San Francisco AIDS Foundation promotes health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impacted by HIV, through sexual health and substance use services, advocacy, and community partnerships.

    The AIDS Walk is virtual this year! (See page 6 for more information.) A financial gift will go the distance by way of support to all manner of HIV/AIDS services in our Bay Area community.
    https://www.sfaf.org/

    SF LGBT Center

    San Francisco’s LGBT Center connects people to community and to resources.

    The center has experienced significant financial losses related to COVID-19 while community need—LGBTQ+ people of all ages seeking emergency access to food, shelter, employment support, and more—has increased. Your donations help to fund these lifeline services.

    The annual soirée was postponed. It’s one of my favorite community galas and my reason for saying yes to auctioneer duties each year is that I get to share the stage with the unstoppable Juanita MORE! and with big, giving hearts in the room we get to raise critical funds for community.

    Please make a donation and whatever you give will indeed be appreciated. Plus, take a photo with the new mural by artist fnnch to mark the 50th Anniversary of SF Pride. https://www.sfcenter.org

    Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

    The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns. They believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty.

    There are a lot of sisters sitting at home right now as their opportunities to fundraise out in the community are limited during the pandemic. However, many of our Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence continue their good work of giving and philanthropy for community virtually. The world’s most photographed nun, Sister Roma, recently took me on a virtual tour of the Castro. See it here as part of SF Pride coverage on KPIX. And thanks, Roma!
    https://www.sfpride.org/broadcast/

    The Sisters are never doing it for themselves; instead, they are always for others. So, please do support them in whatever way your purse strings might allow. http://www.thesisters.org

    The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation (REAF)

    Two amazing men, Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler, co-founded the nonprofit REAF with two moms—Peggy Ermet and Barbara Richmond—after the two women lost their sons to HIV/AIDS. In 25 years, REAF has distributed over four million dollars for local HIV/AIDS, hunger, and youth services. I have conducted many auctions at REAF galas and shows. Large, giving hearts always come through big!

    Please support by attending the virtual gala this Saturday, July 18, as a ticketholder at $25 or sponsor at $250. 

    “We could not do it without community support,” Ken told me. 
    https://www.reaf-sf.org/

    LYRIC

    LYRIC’s mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with LGBTQQ youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities.

    I was a foster kid growing up in Ireland and England who managed to beat the system. I had a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to help me navigate my way from school to college to my first job. I am beyond blessed at having had that kind of steadfast support during the most challenging of years. Our LGBTQI youth are among the most vulnerable in our community and at this time need our support more than ever. By supporting LYRIC, you are funding the future—our youngsters who will run the world tomorrow. That’s what a young person needs, for someone to let them know they are loved and that they matter at a time when they think they don’t. 

    You are loved and you matter!
    https://lyric.org/

    The Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project

    The TGI Justice Project provides legal services for transgender and gender-variant/non-conforming people in California prisons, jails, and detention centers. They also help to connect those who have recently re-entered society with housing and health services. You can support through financial donation or volunteering legal services.
    http://www.tgijp.org/

    The Trevor Project

    Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people under 25.

    This cause is closer to home than most. I lost my Mum to suicide twenty-two years ago this month, taken too young and too soon. Not a day passes when I do not think about my Mummy Maureen. I have lost too many friends along the way as well—two this past year—who were taken by the ravages of depression that led to suicide.

    I wish those two friends had made the call to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Lifeline is there 24/7 with counseling and support.

    Check in with friends who are having a challenging time. A simple text saying, “I love you,” could be the one thing someone needs to hear in their darkest hour. Send that text, make that call, or send that email or handwritten note that makes the difference. 

    Donating to The Trevor Project could help to save a life. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

    Thanks, friends, for taking time to read this article. It means much that you did. I will feature more nonprofits in another feature down the road. Please do share your favorites with me: liamsf@aol.com

    Be well, hug the ones you’re with a little tighter these days, and make those calls to friends and family. The time is now and there is only now.

    With affection & gratitude,
    Liam 

    Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality Liam Mayclem is regularly featured on KPIX as well as KCBS, where he is the popular Foodie Chap. Born in London, Mayclem is now at home in the Bay Area, where he lives with his husband, photographer Rick Camargo. For more information: https://www.bookliam.com/

    Published on July 16, 2020