Metro Weekly

Us Helping Us holds virtual gala with America’s Got Talent’s Cristina Rae

Hour-long gala, held virtually, will feature speeches, entertainment, and recognition of special honorees

UHU’s outreach team next to its mobile testing unit – Photo: Us Helping Us.

Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc., the D.C.-based organization focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy, and promoting holistic health solutions within the Black community, will hold its annual fall gala virtually on Thursday, Dec. 3.

The hour-long gala, titled “Passion for Living,” will include various speakers testifying to UHU’s various programs, initiatives, and support groups and their contribution to the D.C.-area Black community, particularly Black same-gender-loving men.

Cristina Rae, a finalist in last season’s America’s Got Talent, will perform and the organization will honor individuals who have shown their commitment to the local community and to carrying out UHU’s mission.

Tickets to the gala, which serves as one of the organization’s chief fundraisers, will cost $20.21 per person.

“Us Helping Us is one of the first, largest, and most innovative AIDS service organizations in the nation, with a focus on Black gay and bisexual men and Black women,” Steven Emmert, the deputy executive director of strategy and development, said in a statement.

“Our gala will continue to have impressive speakers, amazing entertainment, and honorees that have shown their commitment to the critical and life-changing work of Us Helping Us,” Emmert added. “We welcome one of this year’s America’s Got Talent finalists, Cristina Rae, to grace us with her amazing singing voice. We are truly honored to have her join our very first virtual gala.”

Earlier this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down businesses and forcing Americans to socially distance, UHU launched a “senior kit” program to assist LGBTQ elders, particularly those with limited outside contact and whose social networks were effectively decimated by the pandemic.

The kits contained washable face coverings, N95 masks, medications, and personal hygiene products. UHU also delivered emergency food assistance packages to clients and other vulnerable community members, particularly those with life-threatening ailments.

“Us Helping Us isn’t just our name, it’s our mantra,” DeMarc Hickson, the executive director of UHU, told Metro Weekly in an interview earlier this year, “and we want people to know that we’re always here for the community.”

Us Helping Us, People Into Living’s “Passion for Living” fall gala is on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 7-8 p.m. For tickets, and to reserve a spot, register by visiting www.ushelpingus.org/2020-fall-gala

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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