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The Honest Passion to Give Back

Terry learned about the importance of working for my community from his mom and dad, and he has applied that lesson everyday for the past 20 years as he helped out the 33,000 people a week that seek shelter at LGBT Community Centers.

LGBT Community Centers is being honored as a Champion of Change for its work ensuring safety, dignity, and equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, as demonstrated by the organization's video entry in the LGBT Pride Month Video Challenge.

Terry Stone wrote the following blog post on the organization's behalf.

I have worked professionally in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community for over 20 years and been involved in many worthwhile endeavors. But working with LGBT Community Centers is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Centers are the places where you’ll find honest passion, honest dedication, and the honest desire to make our communities better. And the folks who work and volunteer at centers give not only their time but also their hearts.

Over 33,000 people walk through community center doors every week. Centers may be totally staffed by volunteers or they may have as many as 300 on staff. They provide services to a very diverse group of individuals: youth, older adults, the homeless, immigrants----the list just goes on and on. They provide mental health services, programs for people living with HIV, addiction recovery programs, computer training, wellness and nutrition classes.  They have book clubs, art galleries, libraries and film nights. They are the Pride celebration organizers. They mobilize the community for our rights and our equality. They help us connect. Centers are the place we go to celebrate; they’re the place we go when we need help; they’re the place we go to come out; and sometimes they’re the place we go to mourn.

I learned about the importance of working for my community from my momma and daddy. They were always the first to volunteer when a teacher asked for help. They went to every PTA meeting—every band boosters event—every church youth outing. They taught me the importance of giving back and of supporting those you love. They are my “Champions of Change”.

I guess you could say that I’ve been surrounded by champions throughout my life. From my parents to my partner, my children, friends and colleagues today, all of us working together to serve our community and make our lives a little bit better. Just ordinary people doing extraordinary things.