RGCF to Distribute $15k to Local Groups
It’s been a whirlwind year for the Gay community Center of Richmond. It began with a changing of the guard in their executive director position and threats of changing the location of their Sherwood Ave store Diversity Thrift. But now the dust has settled and there is good news abound.
Back on stable ground, after having the most successful month this past August, the GCCR and the umbrella group that manages it, the Richmond Gay Community Foundation, are set to return to its original goal of giving money to local groups that support the LGBT community.
“The reason this organization was founded was to raise money to put back into the community and we had not done that for several years.” Said Bill Harrison, the newly titled Executive Director for the RGCF.”Its been dormant for several years, but since February, we’ve saved $15,000.”
Harrison took over in February as interim leader, but earlier this month the board asked him to stay long term.
His early successes included paying off the org’s debts and generating new revenue from donors – one campaign over the summer totaled over $20k after a donor said he would match donations up to $10k.
Harrison said Diversity Thrift, the GCCR’s warehouse sized thrift store, has low overhead, and the success of their BINGO nights have also given them some room to give back.
“These are 2 revenue streams that have been well developed over a period of several years. Its a matter of utilizing them and bringing them to their full potential.” Said Harrison.
Though he admits the donations planned to be given tonight are not being given through normal channels. Because BINGO is considered gambling, it is overseen by the Virginia Gaming Commission, and the money has to be distributed by the end of the year. Harrison and the RGCF chose 12 groups to give the money to instead of through a grant application process.
All of the groups chosen to receive funds benefit the LGBT community – some directly, and others indirectly.
The Fan Free Clinic will receive a check, but the money is reserved for its transgender clinic services. ROSMY, a local group that works with LGBT youth, will also receive funds.
Virginia Anti-Violence Project will also get a check – Harrison said their work addressing domestic violence in LGBT relationships earned them the funding.
In the future, Harrison plans to raise more money to give back to the LGBT community, and to restart the grant application process. Those interested should keep an eye out early next year when details for applying will emerge.
Until then, come on out tonight, 5:30-6:30 at the Gay Community Center of Richmond - 1407 Sherwood Ave, and meet the groups receiving funds and say hi to Bill.
“This is a weird thing to say but I always hoped that the Virginia Tech one would be the worst one ever…as bad as that was, I hoped that nothing would ever eclipse it but, such as life we got work to do so.”September 27, 2016
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