Time and time again the Twin Cities are touted as an involved community. Volunteer rates here are among the best in the nation, and the GLBT community is no different. Nationally, the organization Gay for Good aims to energize and mobilize the GLBT community to interact with the greater community by volunteering time to various social welfare and environmental service projects. Each month, local chapters select an organization to support in their local community.
For the Twin Cities, Gay for Good came about when co-founder Beth Mejia was speaking to a friend from Los Angeles who she had worked with on various boards. In this discussion, Mejia mentioned that she was wanting to get back to charitable work in the community and he told her about the national organization, Gay for Good, based in L.A. Mejia researched the organization, and even travelled to L.A. to take part in a service project with that chapter restoring an inner city school.
“I knew this is what I wanted to bring back to the Twin Cities,” Mejia says. “Knowing I wanted to to co-chair this organization here in the Twin Cities, I reached out to Creg Schumann, whom I had co-chaired previously with for the HRC gala dinner. I felt there was no better partner with whom to launch Gay for Good Twin Cities than Creg, and with that we created a strong board of advocates and community leaders to help launch [the local chapter].”
The Twin Cities chapter is only a few months old. Their first project was partnering with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board cleaning up inner city parks for Earth Day. In May, Mejia’s organization worked with Open Arms of Minnesota to cook and deliver meals to people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS in the Twin Cities.
The coming months are already planned and joining Gay for Good only requires your time. June will see volunteers partnering with Second Harvest Heartland packaging food for the food bank; July holds a partnership with United Way Arise Project and YouthLink in assisting homeless youth; and August is the Rainbow Build with Habitat for Humanity where volunteers will build a home for a GLBT family.
“Volunteers should continue to donate their time to Gay for Good Twin Cities because it allows them to give back to the greater community,” Mejia says. “It allows them social connections and a way to network in the community while doing good for various social and environmental organizations. There a lot of great organizations, doing a lot of great work and our purpose with Gay for Good TC is a simple message. ‘Be Good and Do Good’ is our motto, just by donating your time.”
For more information go to www.gayforgood.org or Facebook “Gay for Good Twin Cities”.