Brother, Help Thyself
Brother, Help Thyself Inc. is a community based organization that provides financial and other support to non-profit organizations serving the GLBTQ and HIV/AIDS community in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metro area.
Brother, Help Thyself was founded in 1978 by four gay motorcycle clubs and is one of the first organizations in the United States to provide funding for GLBTQ health, cultural, and social services. The first fund drive by The Capital Area Board of Leather and Levi Motorcycle Clubs raised $4,518. Brother, Help Thyself was formed to award that grant to the Gay Men’s VD Clinic which was having financial difficulties at that time. Not only did this grant make it possible for the clinic to continue to provide health services, but also made it possible for it to separate from the Free Clinic. This separation lead to the creation of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which expanded its services to the lesbian community at that time.
In 1996, the Health Education Committee established “Raincoat Coalition” subsequently renamed, “Respect/Protect.” Without charge, this program distributed condoms and lube to patrons of local businesses. Other groups, which Brother, Help Thyself funds with grants, subsequently took over this project
Brother, Help Thyself has grown and diversified over the years. In response to the AIDS crises in our community, we financially support many AIDS service providers. During the past 36 years, we have raised nearly $2.8 million and distributed it to more than 130 groups in our community. Brother Help Thyself raises funds throughout the year and then disburses direct and matching funds, partners with grantees on fundraisers and other events, acts as a clearinghouse for donated goods and services, and serves as an information resource to the GLBTQ community.
Does your club want to join Brother, Help Thyself, or want to learn more about us? Our monthly Board of Directors meetings are open meetings. We meet at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at the Dignity Center, 721 8th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003. For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org.