Posted on December 24, 2010
More than $650,000 raised in 50 days, thanks to community support

CHICAGO – Dec. 23, 2010 – Broad community support from more than 1,400 donors delivered a miracle lifeline to Howard Brown Health Center, which announced today that it received donations of more than $650,000 since launching its Lifeline Appeal 50 days ago.

Capping day-50 of this unprecedented campaign, Walgreens added $25,000 to the total amount raised.  The donations enable Howard Brown to keep its doors open and continue providing services to its more than 36,000 clients in the new year.

Lifeline Appeal contributions came from friends around the globe touched by Howard Brown’s mission and its health care services to the GLBTQA community. For example, a Howard Brown Health Center patient, who earns less than $24,000 a year, donated $2,000 to the Lifeline Appeal.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by personal stories like this one and others that demonstrate how people truly sacrificed to help Howard Brown Health Center in a time of need,” said President and CEO Jamal M. Edwards.

The campaign received an early boost from an ‘angel’ donor who asks to remain anonymous. He learned about the Lifeline Appeal when it was announced on Nov. 4 and quickly called to offer a $200,000 gift that was to be used to match additional fundraising efforts.

“More than 1,400 individuals, businesses, staff and board members, and even on-line friends took a stand to save Howard Brown Health Center from closing its doors. With your dollars and efforts, you gave us a lifeline and made the health of the LGBTQA community a high priority,” Edwards told the crowd gathered to hear the announcement. “Our hearts are filled with gratitude. We give many thanks to all our donors like Walgreens and our anonymous ’angel‘ donor for helping to make the Lifeline Appeal a great success.”

Mark Andrews, board chairman, credited the grassroots efforts — from small fundraising parties to Facebook outreach — with reaching people who care about continued quality health care services in the community. “This has been a team effort involving so many people, and today we’re here to celebrate and thank each and every one who made this possible,” he said.

Beginning Jan. 1, Karma Isrealsen will become Howard Brown’s board chair as part of the responsible transition plan that will bring several new people on the board.

“This is a powerful testament to the generous spirit of our community,” she said. ”We encourage the many people who supported this Lifeline Appeal to continue their support by volunteering time and/or continuing financial support Howard Brown.  As the community has helped us, we will continue to be here to help the community by providing culturally competent and compassionate health care to our entire community.”

A plaque with the names of each Lifeline Appeal donor will be on display in the lobby of Howard Brown Health Center.
Donations can still be made by visiting www.HowardBrown.org or calling (773) 388-1600.

About Howard Brown Health Center
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown is now one of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and allies (LGBTQA) organizations. The agency serves more than 36,000 adults and youth each year in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STD prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. Howard Brown is a multi-site operation based in Chicago and includes a main health and research center in the Uptown neighborhood TRIAD Health practice at Illinois Masonic Hospital, the Broadway Youth Center, and three Brown Elephant resale shops in Chicago and Oak Park.
 
 
Posted on December 3, 2010
by David Cohen

This week is a week to remember in Illinois gay history. On Tuesday, the Illinois House passed the civil union legislation and on Wednesday the Senate with a narrow victory voted to legalize it.

When Gov. Pat Quinn signs the legislation, it will become a new law but the opposition to the new law is still there.

Governor Pat Quinn said Wednesday he will sign Senate Bill 1716, which creates civil unions and passed the state Senate on a 32-24 vote. “I think this is a proud day for the people of our state,” Quinn told reporters in his office after the vote. “It’s everybody in and nobody left out.”

But Don Blasing, the current president of the Evangelical Ministerial Association of Greater Peoria has a different opinion “We feel it violates the Biblical standards God established for human relationships and marriage”

Personally I believe we are on the right path to equality and it is a step in the right direction. The law will give gay couples some of the same rights as heterosexual couples have, including health insurance to the partner of a gay employee in a civil union. Unfortunately, we would not be able to file joint federal tax returns because the federal government does not recognize civil unions as a real marriage.

I hope this will change in time, This is a new era for the state of IL, an era of prosperity, growth and acceptancy . We are moving forward toward freedom and equality. There is nothing more beautiful then seeing two people in love regardless of their color, race or sexuality.