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So it’s that time of year again - your mailbox gets flooded with direct mail asking you for money. There’s a reason you get so much mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas - it works. People are in a giving mood. They’re already spending lots of money to buy presents - so what about a few more bucks for a good cause?
But what constitutes a good cause these days? Is it our LGBT political organizations like HRC and the Task Force, or the statewide organization where you live? Is it an organization like the World Rainbow Fund, which bundles LGBT philanthropic dollars for relief efforts such as Hurricane Katrina, or a group like Truth Wins Out, which specifically exposes the lies and deceit of the radical Christian right? Is it our local LGBT community centers? Or our LGBT choruses or youth programs or AIDS organizations or houses of worship... I could go on and on.
What constitutes a good cause is a deeply personal decision based on what you think is important. What I think is important is supporting the LGBT community. I’ve always said that if we don’t do it, no one else ever will - and, unfortunately, the facts are bearing me out.
According to an article written in 2004 by Nancy Cunningham, the former executive director of Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, the amount of funding by “mainstream” foundations giving to LGBT organizations has remained flat, while the need has increased substantially.
Cunningham cites the Foundation Center’s Foundation Giving Trends (2004 edition), which reported that “giving to lesbian and gay organizations and programs by the 1,000 largest foundations in 2002 was only 0.1 percent of total grant dollars awarded, the same percentage awarded to lesbian and gay issues in 1995. Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues estimates that giving to LGBT issues in 2003 was 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent of grant dollars awarded when including grants not tracked by the Foundation Center.”
Foundation giving in 2005 topped $33.6 billion in the United States, according to the Foundation Center. Even if our share of that money increased another 10th of 1 percent, we’re only talking about $1.68 million going to LGBT organizations throughout the country. If you average those funds over 50 states, you’re talking $33,600 per state - hardly enough for one full-time staff member at a community center.
My point in extrapolating all these numbers is to illustrate that we really need to support our community with our own money, because we can’t rely on the mainstream to do it.
It is up to us as individuals. In 2004, 75.6 percent of the $248.52 billion given in charitable gifts came from people like you and me. Imagine what we could accomplish as a community if we made giving to our LGBT organizations a priority.
Our money could really impact the state of LGBT youth in this country. If each of us gave a portion of our charitable dollars to our local community centers to support existing youth programs or start new ones, we as a community would be creating a legacy that would continue to help our youth for generations to come.
Maybe youth isn’t your issue - so give some of your hard-earned money to LGBT political organizations. We might have swept the Republicans out of the House and Senate on Election Day, but don’t for a minute think that the folks who fund the GOP, its think tanks, and its community organizations are putting their checkbooks away.
People like Richard Mellon Scaife and the Coors Family (the folks whose beer you have probably drunk) are in this ideological war for the long haul and will continue to fund it. That’s why it is so important for us to do the same - we may not be able to put together as much money, but we can match them passion for passion and person for person.
Don’t like politics but love the arts? Support your local gay chorus or film festival. Gays and lesbians have a long tradition of supporting the arts - museums, theater, opera, film. Imagine our cultural impact if our local gay choruses were all like the Gay Men’s Chorus out of New York City or Dallas’ Turtle Creek Chorale, singing with local city symphonies and making a loud, proud statement.
I bet if you think about it, there are lots of ways you could give money to support the community - be it at the national, state, or local level.
And, if you think about it, there are a lot of reasons to make a contribution - to get a tax-deduction, or to get recognition, or to express your joy at how vibrant our community is - or just because you want to help
So open a few of those envelopes in your mail, or write a check to a group that hasn’t even asked - whatever you do, just keep on giving.
Libby Post is the founding chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and a political commentator on public radio, on the Web, and in print media. She can be reached at LesbianNotions@qsyndicate.com.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.