May 6, 2020 at 11:34 am EDT | by Michelle Siegel
HRC donates 15,000 face masks to organizations in need
Power of Our Pride Town Hall, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Human Rights Campaign is launching a digital campaign “designed to raise funds for the critical fight for LGBTQ rights while benefitting essential workers and a wide variety of community organizations.”

The nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization held a week-long pilot for the campaign, titled HRC Gives Back, in which it received nearly 7,000 membership contributions and donated nearly 15,000 cloth face masks to 50 organizations.

“We are living in unprecedented times and the overwhelming success of HRC Gives Back is an especially heartening development — showing that people continue to understand the critical importance of fighting for LGBTQ rights while giving back to those on the front lines,” said HRC President Alphonso David on Monday in a press release. “We’re grateful to our members and supporters for helping make this important initiative successful.”

“We are overwhelmed and heart-warmed by the support from our members and supporters,” added HRC Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing Chris Speron. “We thank our longstanding members for redoubling their commitment to HRC’s mission, and we welcome all of our new members, who will play a critical role in the fight for LGBTQ rights and the battle to retake the White House.”

As part of HRC Gives Back, HRC offers those who donate $29 or more an “HRC identity face mask” of their choosing with options including the LGBTQ, bisexual and transgender Pride flags; a “VOTE” print and the HRC logo.

Also, with each donation, HRC promises to donate two masks to community organizations, including the Georgia-based Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, which HRC describes as “a healthcare organization that provides holistic services for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences across the country.”

According to HRC’s press release, Devereux has received more than 7,000 face masks through HRC Gives Back.

“We are incredibly grateful to HRC — and its membership — for being included in the HRC Gives Back campaign,” Devereux President Carl E. Clark II said. “Like other hospitals and health care providers, Devereux is in need of personal protective equipment to help protect our essential frontline staff as they continue to serve and support the children, adolescents and adults entrusted to our care. HRC’s generous donation of face masks will go a long way to bolster the health and safety of the individuals we serve, and our dedicated team members.”

In addition, the Monday press release noted HRC is also partnering with the National Transgender Visibility March “to get masks to more than 30 transgender-led community-based organizations” as a part of HRC Gives Back.

“We see even in this COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience of the transgender community, standing tall and together,” National Transgender Visibility March Senior Director of Operations Marissa Miller said. “These masks will help organizers at community-based organizations continue doing essential work in a safe way.”

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many advocacy groups and service providers that serve the LGBTQ community to close their offices and reduce the number of employees.

HRC last week laid off 22 employees, converted three full-time positions into part-time positions, froze its fellowship program and announced it will not fill two dozen open positions. David and other members of HRC’s executive and senior leadership teams also decided to cut their own salaries.

In the meantime, anyone who would like to donate to HRC Gives Back can log onto hrc.org.

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