Dining Out For Life, a national nonprofit best known for teaming up with restaurants to raise funds for local HIV organizations, serves a new treat for Pride Month: “Be the Love. Volunteer!” Launched to coincide with LGBTQ Pride celebrations throughout June, the initiative aims to inspire folks across the country to volunteer at health service organizations year-round.
Signing up is simple. Scan the QR code above or visit LGBTQR.com and answer a short questionnaire about the types of volunteer activities that interest you, how often you’d like to volunteer and so on. The program then matches you with volunteer opportunities based on your answers. For example, volunteers can provide administrative assistance, help with event planning and meal preparation, host their own fundraiser and more as often as once a week or just once a year. Groups of people can even sign up together!
Volunteers are connected with local AIDS service organizations (ASOs) already involved with Dining Out For Life and its previous fundraising efforts.
Speaking of which, don’t forget that restaurants nationwide participate in Dining Out For Life events throughout the year, donating part of a day’s earnings to local HIV groups. Coming up: Indianapolis and St. Louis hold events on June 16; Chattanooga, Tennessee, on June 23; and New Orleans on June 30. For a complete schedule, including participating eateries and ASOs, visit DiningOutForLife.com and check out the recent POZ article, “Yummy! It’s Time to Dine Out and Raise Funds to End HIV.”
But raising funds is only one way to help. Why do volunteers matter? According to David Newcomb, Dining Out For Life’s operations contractor, “Volunteering is what keeps us going.” In the informational video below, Newcomb says he believes that donating time can be just as powerful as donating money because of the hard work and bravery of those who come to help. “Any fear you have of walking through that door, know that you are immediately doing good,” he encourages.
Another benefit of volunteering: You’ll form friendships and communities. Newcomb has personally witnessed groups of volunteers bonding over their efforts to support those living with HIV: “There’s work, there’s play, but there has to be giving back to the community—and that’s volunteering however you can.”
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As in years past, Dining Out For Life is sponsored by Subaru of America. Subaru has partnered with Dining Out or Life for over 16 years and, according to a press release, was the first vehicle distributor to enforce nondiscrimination policies for its LGBTQ employees.
Can’t volunteer? Donate to Dining Out For Life here.