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As a massive relief effort gets under way in response to the overwhelming devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, many gays and lesbians are asking how they can help. In most cases monetary donations are the best way to show support, but if you happen to live near the affected areas and were untouched by the devastation, you may also want to consider volunteering your time or opening up your home to displaced victims. Here are some gay organizations that are currently coordinating relief efforts:
The Metropolitan Community Church has set up a Katrina Relief Center at www.mccchurch.org/katrina/index.html. For more information contact Connie Gilpin at MCC of the Living Spring at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact the Reverend Kurt Krieger at (816) 931-0750; (816) 210-5443; or email@example.com.
The gay-focused Rainbow World Fund has partnered with America's Second Harvest in its Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign. Donations to the fund will go to provide meals and groceries, transport food to survivors, and secure additional warehouse space to assist food banks in resuming and maintaining operations. Donate at www.rainbowfund.org/donate
The National Youth Advocacy Coalition has formed a Hurricane Katrina LGBT Relief Fund to ensure that LGBT youth and families receive the critical support they need to regain stability in their lives. The group has partnered with Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, The Family Pride Coalition, The Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization, National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, among others. Contributions can be made at www.nyacyouth.org.
Pride Houston has partnered with the New Orleans Mayor's Office to raise money for gay and lesbian victims in the greater New Orleans area. For more information visit www.pridehouston.org.
The Houston GLBT Community Center has established a "center to center" fund to benefit the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans. Call (713) 524-3818, or go to www.houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org.
The gay rights group Garden State Equality has arranged to accept donations for the pro-gay Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge to benefit victims of the hurricane. Call Steven Goldstein at (917) 449-8918. Checks can also be sent directly to the Reverend Steve J. Crump, 8470 Goodwind Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
RainbowRelief.org is coordinating efforts to house GLBT victims of the hurricane. The group does not accept donations, only offers to provide housing. Anyone who is in need of housing or wishes to provide it should go to the Web site or call Brandon Burch at (913) 515-0317.
The Center for Artistic Revolution in Arkansas is currently working to help LGBT Katrina refugees in Arkansas. They have created a resource base of LGBT Arkansans and allies who are willing to offer housing and other help. They can be reached at 501-603-2138 or ArtchangesU@yahoo.com or through www.artisticrevolution.com.
The Arizona Human Rights Fund and Foundation is coordinating efforts to house gay victims of the hurricane in Arizona. Call (602) 650-0900, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit www.ahrf.org.
If your organization is coordinating relief efforts in the aftermath of the hurricane, please contact the editors of The Advocate at email@example.com, and we will include you in future postings on Advocate.com.