“Brother, Help Thyself,” a fund-raising coalition of LGBT groups in the Baltimore-Washington,DC area distributed their annual grants this past weekend, and New Ways Ministry was the grateful recipient of a generous grant of $8,125.
The money will be used for two upcoming projects and a new piece of office equipment:
1) a workshop day in the Baltimore-Washington area on transgender issues;
2) a retreat day in the Baltimore-Washington area for people living with HIV/AIDS and people who minister with them;
3) a new photocopy machine to replace our cranky 16-year old one.
During the ceremony, New Ways Ministry was surprised to learn that we also received “Brother, Help Thyself’s” (BHT) cherished “Billy Collison Award.” The award, named in memory of a BHT volunteer who served in a variety of leadership positions for the group, as well as being an active volunteer in the DC area. The award is given “For representing the LGBTQ community so well and with so little, thus truly embodying Bill Collison, a true champion of the underdog.”
In presenting the award to New Ways Ministry’s Co-Founder, Sister Jeannine Gramick, and Executive Director Francis DeBernardo, BHT Treasurer Mark Clark said:
“New Ways Ministry does what some might assume cannot be done–build bridges between the official Roman Catholic church hierarchy and the LGBT community, training people to minister to those who want to be fully themselves in their spiritual tradition and in their sexuality.”
In accepting the award, DeBernardo said he was “dumbfounded, humbled, and honored,” and that New Ways Ministry pledged to keep the spirit of Billy Collison’s altruism for the underdog alive.
At the close of the day, BHT Treasurer Mark Clark was himself the recipient of the Anthony J. Bacharach Award for distinguished volunteer service to BHT and several other DC-based LGBT organizations, including New Ways Ministry and Dignity.
New Ways Ministry is so grateful to the tireless work of the members of Brother, Help Thyself. Their unrelenting generosity is helping so many LGBT organizations in the Baltimore-Washington area. The work they do benefits so many and makes our world a better place.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry