A Quick Note on Volunteering

(Me and Chely Wright at the “Wish Me Away” premiere at the Starz Film Festival 2012)
I like to go to parties.  I particularly like to go to parties that raise money for people.  I worked in PR and special events for a lot of years in NYC.  The one thing I know is, if you give people a reason to get dressed up, have their picture taken, maybe do a little celebrity siting and send them home with some swag, people will show up and raise money no matter the cause.  In fact, if you do what I did and start a non-profit that just raises money to give to other non-profits, they don’t even have to know the cause.
Sometimes the best way to attend an event is to volunteer to work it, especially if the tickets are more than your wallet currently has available.  You still get dressed up, you get fed (even if you have to miss out on the rubber chicken), you usually get to mingle with the attendees, you hear the same speeches, see the same celebrities, usually get to attend the after-party and you know that you are actually helping make a difference.  That’s the thing about volunteering, instant gratification.
When you just give the money, you’re not really invested in the success of the event, the organization, or furthering the cause.  If you’re like me, the only time you even remember you gave them money is tax time when you have to tell your accountant everyone you donated money to.  When you volunteer, you spend time and energy giving to a cause you believe in.
I have volunteered for many charitable organizations over the years – the symphony, hospitals, research for diseases, shelters, food pantries, older adult organizations, LGBT non-profits of all sorts.
This weekend I will have the privilege of volunteering for the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco.  These are held in (3) cities – New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  This weekend is the latter.  http://www.glaad.org/mediaawards
Being a lesbian journalist, these awards are a really big deal for me.  This is about celebrating those that celebrate us.  This is about cheering for our greatest cheerleaders.  And because I’m willing to give of my time, I get to enjoy this incredibly uplifting event.  They will give awards to outstanding films (wide & limited release), outstanding drama series, outstanding comedy series, outstanding episode, outstanding movie or tv mini-series, outstanding documentary (I’m rooting for Chely Wright’s story “Wish Me Away), outstanding reality series, outstanding talk show episode and several other categories.
I’ll let you know how it goes.  For my Twitter followers, I got permission to tweet, so keep an eye out for red carpet looks and fab pics with fab peeps.
I can’t wait to meet Mel B (Scary Spice) and Adam Lambert (American Idol gay bad boy), plus a whole host of celesbians.  I wonder how I should wear my hair…

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