Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Charity Begins at Home IV

As we enter into fall then winter and celebrate so many holidays this time of year I am reminded of all those in our community who don't have what many of us do. So today I would like to put forward more suggestions that we all can do to help.

When I do my browsing for links across the internet I repeatedly come across two main groups in our community that either get ignored or need help. Both LGBT youth and seniors deserve better than they receive. Today I focus on them.

The one thing both have in common is they don't need miracles. They need hope. Something most of us take for granted. Do you hope for your next meal, a  bed to sleep in, or even just someone to talk to? It's something many of us take for granted and really don't think about. Maybe we should.

Giving hope is such an easy thing to do but somehow it doesn't always get done. Light someones life, even if with just a spare ember from you life of plenty. It doesn't take much to ignite a flame in someone, to give them a chance to grow. Everyone deserves that chance. Let's give them that chance, that hope.

An area I never hear about much is LGBT seniors in homes or even living alone who have few people in their lives. Much like any elderly person in such cases we can advocate for their representation in such places, create visitor programs to give them LGBT friendly people to talk with, make sure they get the health care they need, are represented in medical facilities, and make sure they get to eat right. Our seniors have led the way for us and made our lives a little bit easier. Let's return the favor and help them.

Our youth face many of the same problems. They need a clothes, a bed to sleep in, a good meal, a friendly face to talk to, even medical attention. So many flee or are thrown from their homes. Some forced into things just to survive. They don't deserve that. No one does.

What I propose regardless of your abilities is give time. Talk to someone who is need or struggling and be the calm in their life. Listen to their stories and offer advice if they want it. Give respect and show compassion.

I've talked before about gathering food to donate to organizations that help those in need. Some additional things you can do is work with a local LGBT center or organization that is LGBT friendly and try to start a meal program. Maybe its a food bank or even a dinner once a month that's open to anyone in the LGBT community. It all helps. No one should be hungry.

With those same groups you can create clothing programs. Gather new and used clothes to help those who need them. Maybe work with LGBT friendly stores or fashion groups to create a work clothing program so those seeking jobs look their best.

A place to clean ones self and sleep is very important. Our health can deteriorate quickly if we don't have those opportunities. Create safe shelters or places where people can go. I know this one is a little harder with regulations and facilities but its not impossible. You have a voice, advocate for them. Ensure local facilities exist for them. Make sure no one is turned away or restricted simply because they are LGBT.

During the holidays we always think of friends and family. Let's not forget those who don't have them or have been turned away by theirs. Whether it is youth or seniors work with local groups or centers and maybe host a visitor for your holiday meal. Maybe you could adopt a person for the holidays and treat them like friend. Feed them, maybe buy them a small gift, and just listen to their life. Something most of us have.

There are so many options available to us in life to extend hope. And they all begin with one person reaching out their hand to help another and investing time in their well being. Please do so and make a difference to someone who may need you.

Love is Never Wrong

1 comment:

  1. This year I'm going to donate time and money to a lgbt teen homeless shelter. Most of the shelters are ran by religious groups here, and in fact a bapist group is trying to get the city to go along with a shelter currently. The link that i'm including here makes no reference to if they will accept lgbt/gender varient teens or not. So, either they will, and dont want to rile up the population mentioning the fact, or they wont and thats why lgbt teens arent mentioned.