Looking for a good way to make a difference? Check out Gay For Good

Promise-House

Gay for Good volunteers work at Promise House. (Courtesy Erin Moore)

 

Erin Moore  |  Special Contributor
Special to Dallas Voice

With so much loss and tragedy in the world, in the news, in our own communities, people are searching for ways to be nicer to each other. We have become so separate from each other, so distant, that it feels like we truly are isolated.

Facebook gives the illusion of friendship with people we don’t even know. Twitter is a constant barrage of bumper-sticker thoughts that go swirling by without care or consequence. Snapchat and Instagram are temporary “LOOK AT ME..then gone” moments.

But it’s time to make some real connections again. It’s time to make a real difference again. It’s time to remember who we are as a community. Time to volunteer our time again.

When I first started in the Dallas LGBT community, I was part of a group that organized events around National Coming Out Day. Our chosen slogan was “Out Everyday,” to show that we are a vital part of our community, every community. The idea was that we are all in this together.

I am now working with a group called Gay For Good, and it has much the same message.

G4G is an all-volunteer organization that goes out into the so-called straight community and to volunteer one day a month for a local charity. We have done everything from clearing bamboo stands for a trail around Elm Fork to placing flags at veterans’ graves, to sorting clothing at Dress for Success. We volunteer with youth, seniors, veterans, the homeless, animals and for the environment.

It is a no–frills, sweat equity way to invest in our community. We do not ask for, nor do we give money. We give time; we show up and do whatever is needed.

What is perhaps more important than the work we do, though, are the conversations we have while doing it.

During a Habitat for Humanity build, we will converse with the local Baptist church volunteers about our personal stories.

During a visit to a senior home, we will talk with the one gay resident who feels alone. During a visit to Promise House, we will chat with the abandoned youth that feels like she has finally found some footing.

We make a difference in our community, one weekend, once a month.

In this next year — in the next four years — real connection, real impact and real work will matter more and more. Kindness and conversation are our weapons against separation and discrimination. Join us or any other volunteer group and make a difference in that group and with that group.

We need to know each other again and hold our community closer.

Erin Moore is the vice chair of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter of Gay For Good (gayforgood.org/dallas_tx).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2017