Every year at the Kentuckiana Pride Festival  held at the Belvedere, community organizations and gay friendly businesses come together to set up booths showcasing what they do and how you can help. This year at the annual festival booths ranged from LGBT supporting churches such as New Beginnings in Jeffersonville to organizations such as PFlag  and the Human Rights Campaign . As large crowds walked through tents on the hot summer day, volunteer groups such as Habitat for Humanity and the linked Habitat Restore could be found spotlighting all they do for the community all the while showcasing their support.
Carin Veech, volunteer coordinator for Metro Louisville’s Habitat for Humanity, says each year Habitat coordinates around 5,000 volunteers locally and those who contribute help build approximately 25 houses in the regional Louisville area. “There is a common misconception about Habitat for Humanity. We are not a home giveaway program; we are a home ownership organization for low income families.” The program itself is a beacon of hope for thousands of families struggling everyday just to survive. Veech says volunteers are always needed to help keep Habitat for Humanity, an ecumenical Christian housing ministry, thriving. For more information on how you can help please visit www.louisvillehabitat.org .
Karen Garris, Donor Relations Manager with Habitat’s ReStore, was also showing tent visitors along the Ohio River how they can become involved within their community. Restore, a thrift store that has three drop off locations in the Louisville area, is a project that through sales, allows 100 percent of the proceeds to be donated back to the Habitat for Humanity mission. The location stocks donated building materials, furniture, appliances and landscaping, all of which come from donations and helps to save the goods from ending up in landfills. This is recycling at its best, and it helps to make a positive environmental impact by diverting the goods. More information on services including volunteering, stores and goods can be found by visiting www.louisvillerestore.org .
Lots can be said about the gay community and their supporters, and one that speaks louder than most is that the wiliness to help others and generosity within the tight nit community is very large. The “it takes a village” proverb can be inserted here; the society of gay culture is a very lovingly, helping one and giving back is just one of the many gracious things that can be done to help advance modern kind. Booths such as Habitat for Humanity and Restore, as well as New Beginnings Church  and others just go to show that when communities work together, they can change the world, one step at a time.
photos courtesy of Stef Perri