In the seasonal spirit? These local gay causes let you give the gift that truly keeps on giving all year.
By Mike Fleming
While you’re busy making your list and checking it twice, don’t forget that there are some worthy non-profits making life better year-round for local LGBT people.
Giving is a priority this time of year, but it’s also a privilege. Sharing the wealth with organizations that make Atlanta a better place is also a year-end tax break, so giving back is in some ways like doing yourself a favor in the process. Not to mention all the good feelings and even better karma you’re setting in motion.
Do it for you or do it for them, but just do it. Here are a few of our favorite local charities that deserve your consideration during this year’s giving season.
AID Atlanta. This venerable group touches every aspect of the fight against HIV. From prevention to treatment and from housing to programs for multiple demographic groups, the agency looks to continue its missions in a new partnership with AID Healthcare Foundation. aidatlanta.org
Atlanta Pride. The largest festival in the Southeast is free to all comers thanks to donations and sponsorships, but the committee works all year to support LGBT causes and other non-profits working within the equality movement.
CHRIS 180.Underprivileged Georgia youth and their families get a leg up from this statewide organization, formerly Chris Kids, that’s always LGBT inclusive in programs and its fundraising. Chris180.org
For The Kid In All Of Us. The gay-founded and gay-led group that brings us Toy Party and Backpack in the Park continues to provide holiday toys, school supplies and other needs to Georgia Children in need. forthekid.org
Georgia Equality. If it’s happening in LGBT rights in Georgia, these activists have a hand in it. From lobbying in the legislature to grassroots initiatives, this dedicated staff and its volunteers are busy year-round. georgiaequality.org
The Health Initiative. In addition to providing the only Affordable Care Act assistance specifically dedicated to getting LGBT Georgians the health insurance they need, this venerable non-profit can also connect any LGBT in the state to competent doctors, screenings and other care. thehealthinitiative.org
HRC Atlanta. The hosts of the annual HRC Atlanta Dinner & Silent Auction support local and national LGBT initiatives with year-round events and fundraisers. hrcatlanta.org
Jerusalem House. Housing, care and support for people living with HIV make this one of the most beloved charities in all of gay Atlanta. Among several big events, the organization is known for its big gay annual Halloween Bash. jerusalemhouse.org
Joining Hearts. Prolific in their giving for HIV housing with donations to beneficiaries AID Atlanta and Jerusalem House, this group that throws Atlanta’s largest gay pool party and scores of satellite events just expanded its mission. Read our story in this issue of David Atlanta. joininghearts.org
Lost N Found Youth. Sprung up from a desperate need that’s come to light in recent years, this group helps homeless LGBT youth with housing assistance and other support services through events like East Point Possums, as well as its Lost N Found Thrift Store. lnfy.org
Pets Are Loving Support. When you think of gay Atlanta causes, PALS will always be on the list. Founded at the dawn of the AIDS crisis, this group helps critically ill and elderly people keep and care for their pets. palsatlanta.org
Positive Impact Health Centers. The gay-founded and run HIV mental health organization Positive Impact merged with AID Gwinnett to create a full-scale AIDS Service Organization.
Ready 4 Hope. If you see a raucous party full of gay men rocking red tanks or tees, it might just be the R4H gang and their loyal supporters. This AIDS Walk team throws bashes throughout the year to raise big bucks culminating at the annual walk/run event in Piedmont Park. ready4hope.com