Thursday, June 23, 2011

Know Your Rights: Thank You Volunteers!

Did you see us at Boston Pride? This year, GLAD not only had a marching group, we also had “Beacon Hilda”—a green duck boat. This event, like much of what GLAD does, could not have been accomplished without a group of wonderful, enthusiastic, committed volunteers. The volunteers came one evening to help us make signs that celebrated the work GLAD has done for the past 33 years, and then on the day of Pride helped to decorate “Hilda,” march with GLAD and staff our information booth at the Pride Festival.

Volunteers play a critical role at our various events like the Summer Party that will be held at the
Provincetown Monument on Saturday, July 30th, from 4-7 pm. We fill a van with volunteers in Boston on that morning, and they work all day setting up for the Summer Party and then help to take everything down. The van doesn’t return to Boston until very late at night—that’s a dedicated group of volunteers!

Our largest event each year is our Spirit of Justice Award (SOJ) Dinner, and again we depend on many volunteers to help make this event the huge success it always is. We are very excited this year that we are honoring the entire Patrick family at the SOJ Dinner. So after working hard, the volunteers are rewarded by being part of a very memorable evening.

Each department at GLAD—Legal, Public Affairs and Education, Development—has interns for the fall, spring and summer semesters who assist us in carrying out our work. They learn from us and very often we learn from our interns.

The Legal InfoLine that I manage is staffed by volunteers. Currently there are 30 InfoLine volunteers—all of whom have gone through 17 hours of training on LGBT/HIV legal issues and then have committed to working 3 hours a week for 6 months. I am always amazed at the dedication, compassion and intelligence of these volunteers. It is a pleasure to work with them. They need to become acquainted with over 75 publications that GLAD has produced on LGBT/HIV legal issues in the six New England states, become familiar with other agencies that may help with other aspects of their situation and learn how to provide attorney and legal organization referrals for those people who need legal advice.

Over the 7 years I have worked at GLAD, over 200 volunteers have gone through the InfoLine training. Many of these volunteers have stayed long over their 6 month commitment—one volunteer has been working on the InfoLine for almost a decade. I feel privileged to be able to work with such an incredibly talented and committed group of people. The next training for the InfoLine will be in October.

Each year we try to thank the volunteers for the important contribution they make to the success of GLAD’s work. This year we had a party to celebrate our volunteers on June 7th at Gillian’s. On behalf of everyone at GLAD, I just want to once again thank all our volunteers for the important role they play in helping GLAD to carry out its mission of equal justice for all. If you want to become a volunteer, go to to learn more and sign up!

More Volunteer Photos

Boston Pride Photos

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