November 28, 2008

A Few Who Give Back

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Bay Windows, New England's largest GLBT newspaper, ran a feature titled "Giving Thanks by Giving Back." They profiled four individuals who give of themselves to make the GLBT community better. They are:

Zac Brokenrope donates his time at the LGBT Aging Project’s Thursday luncheon called CafĂ© Emmanuel. Every Thursday, Brokenrope heads to Emmanuel Church on Newbury St. to set out food and chat with LGBT seniors. Brokenrope, a freshman at Boston University, just moved here from Nebraska, where there was not a strong gay community, so he wanted to connect with the community in Boston.

Rick Larkin volunteers at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC) outreach program and was recently elected to the organization’s board. Having been diagnosed with HIV in 1986 Larkin said he volunteers because he has been lucky enough to access services that have helped him become a long-term survivor.

Jess Nieuwenhuizen has volunteered at Boston GLASS (Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services), a drop-in center for LGBT people between the ages of 13 and twenty-five. A grad student at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Nieuwenhuizen volunteered as an intern, helping develop the agency’s literary magazine, co-facilitating a weekly woman’s group, helping out with Shades of Color, a peer education and leadership development program and most importantly was a peer mentor for members of Boston Glass.

Steve Swanberg, known lovingly around the MassEquality office as "Info Steve," volunteers by answering all of the e-mails sent to the address "info@massequality."; In March 2004 -- the height of the marriage equality debate on Beacon Hill, when MassEquality as we now know it was just taking off -- Swanberg decided it was time to get involved. He realized that organizations even needed people just to answer their e-mails. At that point, MassEquality was being bombarded with people seeking information about the issue.

Although the article doesn't mention anything about the faith of these individuals, their actions do represent what Jesus spoke in Matthew 25:40b (NIV):

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Jesus came to earth as a servant, and we reach out to help others, we are moving toward a heart of Christ.

Click here to read the rest of the Bay Windows article.

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