The LGBT charitable group Brother Help Thyself on Jan. 25 presented grants totaling $71,500 to 26 non-profit organizations serving the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region.
BHT presented the grant awards in a ceremony held at the DC Eagle gay bar in Northeast D.C. in which D.C. Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was among more than 100 people who turned out for the event.
BHT presented Norton with its Anthony J. Bachrach Award for outstanding service to the LGBT community in her longtime role as D.C.’s representative in Congress.
BHT President Nina Love, who presented the award to Norton, called Norton a champion for the civil rights of LGBTQ people and other minorities through her work in the U.S. House of Representatives since she first won election in 1990.
Love said BHT, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, continues to expand its mission of supporting LGBTQ and AIDS service organizations in the D.C. and Baltimore area.
“It’s just an amazing feeling to make even a small difference for all the grant organizations that are supporting our community,” Love said.
Love told the gathering that since its founding in 1978, BHT has awarded 1,158 individual grants totaling over $3.3 million to 198 non-profit organizations providing services to the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV.
Love also announced that BHT has changed its name from Brother Help Thyself to the BHT Foundation.
“Our community has evolved dramatically since Brother Help Thyself was founded in 1978,” the group said in a statement. “We represent diverse and unique people under the LGBTQ+ umbrella and thus recognize the need to evolve to meet the many needs of new, underfunded, and often overlooked non-profits that are filling the gaps in vital services,” the statement says.
“To reflect our own evolution, we announced today that we have changed our name to The BHT Foundation,” according to the statement released on Jan. 25.
Among the 26 groups receiving grants in the form of a check during the ceremony were AIDS Action Baltimore, the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community, the D.C. LGBT youth services group SMYAL, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, the Baltimore Men’s Chorus, and Mary’s House for Older Adults in D.C.
The D.C.-based group Breaking Ground, which supports LGBTQ youth through original theatrical productions based on the life experiences of its youth cast members, received the single largest grant at the Jan. 25 ceremony — $10,060.
Under the direction of founder and director A.J. King, Breaking Ground members performed in two scenes from one of its productions during the BHT ceremony on a stage. Also performing at the ceremony were members of the Baltimore Men’s Chorus.
In addition to Norton, BHT presented non-monetary community service awards to two organizations and to its former president, Jim Slattery, who received the BHT President’s Award. The D.C.-based LGBTQ Latinx group LULAC Lambda received the Billy Collison Award for being a grantee “who does a lot with little resources.” Damien Ministries received the BHT Founders Award as a nonprofit providing “outstanding service to our community.”
Following are the non-profit organizations that received BHT grants and the amount of the grant:
AIDS Action Baltimore: $3,850
Baltimore Men’s Chorus: $2,020
Black, Gifted & Whole [D.C.]: $2,550
Breaking Ground [D.C.]: $10,060
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop: $460
Charlie’s Place [D.C.]: $180
D.C. Area Transmasculine Society: $1,280
D.C. Center for the LGBT Community: $1,410
FreeState Justice of Maryland: $860
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington: $910
HIPS D.C.: $3,570
Hope D.C.: $6,000
Hope Springs Baltimore: $3,460
LULAC Lambda D.C.: $1,820
Mary’s House for Older Adults of D.C.: $3,740
Mid-Atlantic Deaf Interpreter Fund: $1,500
New Ways Ministry [D.C. area]: $1,930
PFLAG Columbia, Md.: $1,940
Pride Center of Maryland: $2,190
Rainbow Families [D.C. area based in Montgomery County]: $2,080
Rainbow History Project of D.C.: $1,610
Rainbow Youth Alliance of Rockville, Md.: $3,810
SMYAL D.C.: $7,790
Transgender Education Association of Burke, Va.: $1,69
Washington Renegades: $2,640