Liz Bradbury's 12 Days of Giving Page
The employees and board members of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center are supposed to ask 12 people for $85 each, so that each of us can raise $1000.
We’ve never done this before, and I’m not wildly comfortable asking for money, but here goes…
I know you are getting a barrage of requests for donations. I’m getting daily requests from some of the same people and organizations every single day. Are you? I do donate to some. But sometimes, I have no idea who the organization (or candidate) is, or whether they’re LGBTQ-friendly and will put the money to fair, equitable, and practical use.
Well, I know we are doing really great things here at the Center. And I know we use donations very carefully in ways that strongly support the community. We reach out to and support thousands of LGBTQ people each year.
So, please donate to the LGBT Center through my page, so that I’m not “out-fundraised” by these young whippersnappers who work here.
BTW, they’re all doing such a terrific job. I’m very proud of them all and of the wonderful programs, events, and supportive services we all work on and deliver to the community every day. We’ve been able to make this happen in just over 3 1/2 years!
Below is an illustrated list of 12 groups of the extensive programs and events we regularly have at the LGBT Center. Of course our Executive Director Adrian Shanker over sees it all and my beloved Trish Sullivan is still volunteering every week, and I’m the Director of the Center’s Training Institute, but I’ve also included the names of the employees and some of the volunteers working to make these community services happen.
All our programs are FREE.
Our youth program Project Silk runs on the 1st floor youth space every day after school for LGBTQA young people. We welcome and provide services to over 350 people between the ages of 14 to 21, a year. Kim Ketterer is the Youth Programs Manager, and Alaina Schaeffer, is the Healthy Eating & Active Living Coordinator. We believe in a brave space model where our center is an affirming space for LGBT youth to be themselves. We also take great responsibility in promoting healthy youth decision making, including regular HIV testing, wellness check-ins, tobacco cessation, and non-partisan voter registration. If the only thing our LGBT Center did was provide our youth program, we would be fulfilling an important mission, but we do so much more!
Our Monthly or Twice Monthly Support Groups include:
Peer led groups:
Parents of Trans Kids
A Space for Aces (for Asexual and Aromantic folks)
QTPOC - Queer and Trans People of Color
Lehigh Valley Renaissance - for Trans people
Coffee and Conversation for Older LGBTQ Adults (occasional dates)
and these professionally led groups:
Bereavement Group - for LGBTQ people who have experienced loss. Led by Rev. Anne Huey
LGBT+ Cancer Support Group - Led by Cancer Support Community
Sexual Trauma and Recovery - Professionally Led
We are also adding a new metal health support group
We also provide our twice monthly Free Legal Clinic - provided by local Attorneys with expertise in LGBT issues.
Zakkery Rome is our Supportive Services Coordinator & Visual and Film Arts Coordinator
Our Health Programs include: Tobacco Awareness and Cessation information — Because Tobacco is the biggest killer of the LGBT community.
We also have awareness programs about Hepatitis A, Anal Pap Testings, & Vaginal Pap Tests
We have free flu shots, free HIV and STI Tests, help with Affordable Care Act enrollment,and help with Medical Marijuana enrollment. All of these are non-judgy.
Jessica LaPorte is our Health Programs and Supportive Services Manager, Gabby Hochfeld is our SEPA Health Outreach Coordinator, and Katie Suppes is our Research & Evaluation Manager (Katie Suppes works on research and evaluation of all our programs)
Every summer we fund Pride festival throughout Pennsylvania to be tobacco free. Stats prove that if young people who attend Pride Festivals do not see LGBT people smoking, they are less likely to begin smoking themselves. Our entire staff takes turns in attending 11 festivals statewide, to hand out information on tobacco awareness and smoking cessation. This is part of our Health Programs Department.
We have many Arts and Culture programs that are both social and educational events.
Artist Receptions — We have continuous art shows in our two art galleries in the building. They are (arguably) the finest Queer Art/Artist gallery spaces on the East Coast of the United States, second only to the Leslie Loman museum in NYC.
Reel Queer Film Series - monthly LGBT Movies
Community Book Discussion - Led by Prof. Mary Foltz - monthly
Author Presentations - monthly
Spirituality Mini Series - annual event
And our library now has over 2500 LGBTQ books that are catalogs and free to borrow
Executive Director Adrian Shanker, our Librarian Kathleen Kapila, and Zakkery Rome is our Supportive Services Coordinator & Visual and Film Arts Coordinator - all work on these events.
My department — The Training Institute of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center provides LGBTQ Cultural Competency Trainings to businesses, organizations, and government institutions. In the last 3 1/2 years I’ve done over 150 trainings to over 8500 people. Including everything from all the prison wardens in the State, 15 school districts, nursing homes, law firms, county departments of health and human services, adoption centers, hospitals, government agencies, and the entire police departments of Allentown and Bethlehem.
I also continue to teach Art History from a Queer Perspective twice a year, four classes per series. Each topic is different, and I’m pleased to say they are the most well attended events by the most diverse and intergenerational attendees of any of our events at the Center. And they are funny! (Don’t miss the next 2 classes - on Jan. 2nd and Jan 9th. doors open at 5:30pm.)— Trish’s wonderful snacks for the event help to keep folks arriving early — usually 35-45 people attend each class.
And I’m very proud to say that our women’s fast walk team in the annual 5K classic race to fight breast cancer in the Parkway in October, had a big win this year. We have been participating as a team and then joining in on a big team brunch made by Trish are our house, for 17 years. In the race, there were 56 fast walk teams, our team came in first!!! And our median age is 56!!!
Rev. Anne Huey is the Captain of our Team and Patricia Sullivan is the Chef.
And of course we put on the Lehigh Valley Pride Festival again this year. The event in August had 180 booths, two stages and 5000-7000 attendees! We have other events at Iron Pigs Stadium, and the Hockey Arena in Allentown.
Ariel Torres is our Pride Programs Manager
And last but not least, this year, thanks to donors and a matching grant from Air Products, and the brilliant work of Adrian, we were able to pay off our entire mortgage on the building. Our community now owns this beautiful 13,000 square foot building, outright.
Please help us continue to do this important work by donating $85, and if you can’t manage that any donation of any size will do. If you can donate more than $85, that would be great! I don’t want to be humiliated and not make it to $1000. But if you can’t donate this year, I won’t be mad…I’d still like you to come to my Art History class, in fact, please come to it if you are able to donate, too.
Happy Holidays, and especially here’s to a Happy New Year!
P.S. If your employer matches charitable donations, please don't forget to let them know about your gift as well!