Shannon Haiti

Shannon Shepard, left, in Haiti in 2011 building houses with Habitat for Humanity

Over the weekend, an earthquake hit Nepal and at least 3,600 are believed dead at this time.

Here’s a way to help.

Shannon “Shep” Shepard is a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. He’s done a number of local builds in the U.S. and spent time in Haiti after their earthquake on a build with Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. When he lived in Dallas, Shep was a member of Congregation Beth El Binah, a volunteer at Ranch Hand Rescue and a producer of Robert Camina’s film Raid of the Rainbow Lounge as well as his upcoming Upstairs Inferno.

Shep works for Microsoft and was transferred several years ago from the Irving office to Seattle. His fundraising page indicates he’s still raising the $5,000 to participate in this build. He told me this morning he’s already paid for his trip and anything raised now will go directly to Habitat for Humanity to help with immediate needs.

His trip is scheduled for Nov. 1 when there will still be a need for housing. Recovery from a devastating disaster takes years. Obviously, with the current situation, the need for housing has suddenly grown exponentially. I can think of no other organization better prepared to provide housing than Habitat for Humanity.

Shep has been working on raising money for this build for over a year. I know him personally, and I know that he funds the cost of his trips himself. His volunteer work helps give people their lives back.

By the way, he’d hate this kind of coverage, which is why I’m not telling him I’m making this appeal until after it’s out there.

Here’s another suggestion for donating to Nepal disaster relief:

An LGBT organization that will get your money directly to those doing relief work is The Rainbow Fund. Founded in 2000, Rainbow World Fund is the world’s first and only all-volunteer, LGBT-based humanitarian aid organization. All money donated to The Rainbow Fund goes directly toward relief work and no money toward administrative costs.