’Tis the Season to Help Out

 

No, I’m not talking about the holidays.

April is the kickoff month for many activities that are coming up in Kansas City’s LGBT community. And like most events, they need volunteers.

If you’ve been to AIDS Walk, you may remember seeing what appears to be hundreds of volunteers. The walk actually has many fewer than that, but it feels like that many because it works like a well-oiled machine. The credit for that goes to the management of Lintecum & Associates, the AIDS Service Foundation, the AIDS Walk steering committee, and the many people who volunteer. But they can always use more people to help. AIDS Walk 2017 will be April 29. For information, go to www.aidswalkkansascity.org.

Next up is the annual Kansas City PrideFest, which will be June 2-4 at Richard Berkley Riverfront Park. This biggest LGBTQ celebration of the year doesn’t happen without a lot of planning, and yes, volunteers. With such a diverse weekend of activities, festival organizers need many different kinds of help. To find out where you can lend a hand, go to www.gaypridekc.org.

At the end of the summer, we’ll have the Show Me State Rodeo, hosted by the Missouri Gay Rodeo Association, over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3). You don’t have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to help them. Find out more at www.mgra.us.

In this issue of Camp, we have stories about BlaqOut, the Heart of America Softball League, and the LIKEME Lighthouse in which individuals have stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) to make things happen in the LGBT community. We also feature a story about how the Gay & Lesbian Archive of Mid-America (GLAMA) helped with an LGBT history exhibit. GLAMA can always use donations of LGBT history-related items. And the LIKEME Lighthouse will be hosting a Volunteer Meet and Greet on April 3. Look for more information about these in “CampBiz” or the other stories in this issue.

The Kansas City Health Department is looking for volunteers to participate in several focus groups on LGBT health and the Affordable Care Act. Look for their ads in this issue of Camp for all the information, and sign up for an easy focus group with food provided! RSVP at www.kcmo.gov/health/ACA or call 816-513-6223.

Of course, these are only a few of the groups needing volunteers. Here are others to consider: Heartland Men’s Chorus, Mid-America Freedom Band, Pridefloat, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, Human Rights Campaign, Equality Kansas, PROMO, SAVE Inc., KC Care, Good Samaritan Project, Hope Care Center and so many more great organizations. To explore more about these groups, your best resource is the LIKEME Lighthouse, 3911 Main St. (www.likemelighthouse.org)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t put in a plug for yours truly. Camp has benefited from an incredible team of volunteer writers over our 13 years of publishing. Without volunteers, quite frankly, we would not have survived. Our volunteer writers have been heroes, and many have told me that writing for Camp is how they give back to the community. We also are looking for help archiving our 13 years of digital files for the Gay & Lesbian Archive of Mid-America history museum at UMKC. If you’re interested in joining our team, please let me know.

We also can always use help with distribution. I’m looking for helpers to hand out copies of Camp to the AIDS Walk participants for about 30 minutes on April 29. Or if you know of a great distribution site for our magazines, let me know. We could add it to our distribution route or even bring issues by your home so you can help us deliver. Contact me at 816-221-0199 or jlong@campkc.com.