Metro Weekly

Brother, Help Thyself doles out $75,000 in grants to local nonprofits

34 local nonprofits honored as lifelines in times of declining budgets and government cutbacks

Recipients at BHT’s 2017 Grant Awards Ceremony.

Brother, Help Thyself has given out $75,000 to local nonprofits while also honoring them for the role they play in a time when government grants are scarce and the larger LGBTQ community often feels under attack.

More than 34 nonprofits were granted various sums of money in order to help them carry out important programs or maintain regular operations. The grants were announced in a ceremony at the Baltimore Eagle on Saturday, Jan. 20.

“The story here isn’t that BHT gave out $75,000,” Andrew McCarty, BHT’s vice president and grant reception chairman, said in a statement.

“The story here is that in the era we find ourselves in today, where our freedoms and rights, and health care choices are being threatened, these 34 nonprofits, with our help, are out there, each and every day fighting to preserve and defend those rights and freedoms in support of our community. We are proud to play a small role in that work.”

Mary’s House for Older Adults, which provides support services for LGBTQ aging populations, was the top recipient this year, winning $8,280 in grants. Other top beneficiaries included Black, Gifted & Whole, Inc., which took home $5,830 in grants; the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville’s “Rainbow Youth Alliance,” which earned $4,740; Casa Ruby, which received $4,390; and AIDS Action Baltimore, which earned $4,140.

The smallest award given out was $150, given to Dickey Memorial Presbyterian Church.

As it does each year, BHT also honored individuals and organizations with special awards.

Rik Newton-Treadway was honored with the Anthony J. Bachrach Award for Outstanding Service by an individual. The Latino GLBT History Project, given to the grantee and “underdog” who has risen above challenges, was honored with the Billy Collison award for its efforts to preserve the history of the queer Latinx community, often with limited funds. The organization received $2,200 from BHT.

For the second time in recent years, the Baltimore Eagle was honored with the George Dodson Business Award, given to a business that supports the community. The Wanda Alston Foundation, which provides services for LGBTQ homeless youth, won the Founders Award.

“Our community has some great unsung legends who for years have gone about their days working for the betterment of LGBTQ people,” McCarty said. “None of us are in this for self-aggrandizement, and we believe it is vital to recognize folks and groups we collectively feel are worthy of recognition.”

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