Photo Credit: dizain via Dollar Photo Club

[Ed. Note: Although we tried to reach everyone we could, some organizations we may have missed. Also, due to publication deadlines, many of those of you who wanted to participate in our hope and wishes feature may not have been able to do so. If you would like to be included, please send your hopes/wishes/dreams for the future along with your wish list for goods and services needed to us a This is open to welcoming and affirming congregations, inclusive congregations, LGBT community centers, AIDS service organizations, advocacy groups, youth organizations, arts groups and the like. Thank you to the entire community for all the hard work and dedication you give to championing LGBT causes. Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year.]

As 2015 gets put to bed in a couple of weeks, many of the community’s organizations and its leaders have dreams about their future or that of the world at large. Some of these wishes may be easily achieved, but others can take longer and will require much more effort.

Additionally, in order to continue to provide the excellent services they do, organizations have physical needs as well. Take a look in your home or closets and see if you have some new or gently used items with which you are willing to part. Or, when you have a chance to BOGO (buy one, get one free/one for you, one for me), do so. Businesses can also do some end-of-year “inventory reduction” practices and may find a home for some usable office furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

Also, creative or administrative services are always a welcome gift.

Take a look at our compilation below to learn more about how you can assist in the successful continuation of our area’s heroes.

We attempted to gather as many of the Carolinas’ organizational input as was available. Some responded with input, others regretfully did not. If your organization was not listed here, then add your sentiments and needs list in the comment section of this column.

Jesse Duncan
AIDS Care Service
995 W. Northwest Blvd.
Winston Salem, NC 27101
“The 3 residential programs of AIDS Care Service assists clients living with HIV with transitioning from homelessness, hospitals and unhealthy living situations. We wish everyone was provided the stability they need for effective treatment to reduce the spread of HIV. Your donation helps make that happen.”
• Full-size mattress sets
• Bath towels and washcloths
• Pillows

Christina Kliesch
1120 Fairgrove Church Rd. S.E., Suite 28
Hickory, NC 28602
“We are now in an era where the end of HIV/AIDS seems within grasp. New medications allow people to live longer, healthy lives and radically reduce risk of transmission to others. We now also have medication that prevents transmission to HIV negative people. Borrowing the theme of 2015 World AIDS Day — Now is the Time — now is the time to invest in education, support and access to health care to bring an end to HIV/AIDS. It is within our power to make the HIV/AIDS epidemic only a memory.”
• Upgraded technical equipment (grant funding only goes to programming)
• 2 desktop computer upgrades
• 2 23” monitors to replace 15” monitors
• 4 portable tablets for use during home visits by case managers
• New furniture for the lobby

Shannon Warren
Carolinas Care Partnership
5855 Executive Center Dr., Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28212
“Carolinas CARE Partnership continues to work for equal access to prevention, testing, medical and supportive services, and housing services for all people living with and at-risk for HIV. Our hope and dream for 2016 is to get our community closer to zero — zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from HIV and zero discrimination.”
• Contributions towards the purchase of housing for people living with HIV
• 8 matching conference room chairs;
• Original logo artwork, plants and flat screen TV for lobby
• Comfortable furniture, lighting and artwork for client meeting room

Dale Pierce
Different Roads Home
2320 N. Davidson St., Suite B
Charlotte, NC 28205
“Different Roads Home, the staff and board wish for the holidays is that as a city and a community, we can stop the stigma associated with HIV and other chronic illness. Remember that no one is immune. Treating those that suffer from these illnesses with anything but compassion and understanding is the only option we should have as a community of caring. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.”
• A new quality vacuum cleaner for office
• Cases of bottled water, snacks (like individual chip bags) for client meetings and support groups
• Travel size toiletries for the food pantry as new services are launched in 2016
• Gift cards at local grocery stores to fill the shelves at the Jeanne White Ginder Food Pantry

Shawn Long
Equality North Carolina
P.O Box 28768, Raleigh, NC 27611
“Equality NC is grateful for our wonderful LGBTQ and allied supporters, and we look forward to the near future when we have full, ‘lived equality’ in North Carolina. Working together, we can achieve complete non-discrimination protections in the state in the next two years. We wish joy and happiness to all as we enter an exciting new year!”
• Tax-deductible contributions to help in the fight for “lived equality” for LGBT individuals in jobs, housing and public accommodations. ENC can process contributions of stock and they also ask the community to see if their companies will do matching gifts for contributions.

John C. Quillin
Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte
P.O. Box 560661
Charlotte, NC 28256-0661
“GMCC takes our message of respect and dignity where it’s most needed. We wish for a world where harmony abounds and every voice is heard.”
• Fast black & white laser printer
• Electric hole punch/drill
• Case or two of black 1-inch notebook binders
• $1,500 to help fund the replacement of a portable amplifier and keyboard case due to their age and wear and tear to allow for effective community-based performances

Amy Glaser
(mailing address)
1303 Clarendon St. B
Durham, NC 27705
“iNSIDEoUT is grateful for all the queer youth working for systemic social justice in their schools.”
• Replacement Mac computer for one stolen so that the annual zine and the “Decade Book: 10 Years of Queer Youth Activism” can be created
• A printer (with affordable ink replacements)
• Good camera with video capabilities

Helena Cragg
LGBTQ Center of Durham
114 Hunt St.
Durham NC 27701
“The LGBTQ Center of Durham is very humbled and grateful for everyone who believed in us and supported us when the center was just a dream. The support last year allowed us to open the doors to Durham’s first community center intended to serve the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community. Even though we’ve only been open less than 2 months, the center is already becoming a thriving space capable of hosting events as varied as socials, workshops, movie nights, LGBTQ youth hangouts and mixers, to meetings, parties, and focus groups. With the ability to count on regular financial contributions we can flesh out our programming to move towards providing even more social outlets for the community, programming and space to support our youth, get our library fully up and running, and so much more.”
• Outdoor furnishings for the backyard
• Landscaping
• Computers
• A newer coffee pot
• Office supplies
• Recurring financial sustainers

James Miller/Kelly Taylor
LGBT Center of Raleigh
324 S. Harrington St., Raleigh, NC 27603
“2015 was a good and busy year at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. We have been fortunate to have support from all across the state of North Carolina. In May, Out! Raleigh drew a record 30,000 attendees. More recently, the Center was featured in the News and Observer on Thanksgiving for Day of Thanks and was honored by Blue Cross as one of five agencies across North Carolina that is making a difference. None of this would be possible without our 300 volunteers that run the center daily, as well as the support of our board of directors.”
• Gift cards from Costco, BJ’s and Harris Teeter to help with supplies and refreshments
• Amazon gift card for other necessary items

Holly Fisher
Lowcountry AIDS Services
3547 Meeting Street Rd.
Charleston, SC 29405
“At Lowcountry AIDS Services, our ultimate hope is to see the end of new HIV infections. But while we wait for a cure, we wish for a society where people living with HIV/AIDS are free from stigma and shame. We wish for education and greater understanding of this epidemic. By joining together in prevention, awareness and testing, we can make an immeasurable difference in our community.”
• Contributions
• Gift cards to grocery or big-box stores
• Volunteers

Lee Storrow
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
P.O. Box 25044
Raleigh, NC, 27611-5044
“In the new year ahead, I hope that our legislative leaders will expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Closing the coverage gap would be one of the most significant public policy wins for those living with HIV in North Carolina. Expanding Medicaid would provide health insurance to over 500,000 North Carolinians, including thousands of LGBTQ residents and people living with HIV.”
• End-of-year campaign, dollar-for-dollar matching donations up to $5,500
(initiated by two supporters to be used to champion the organization’s advocacy and policy efforts at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016)

Angelica R. Wind
Our VOICE, Inc.
44 Merrimon Ave., Suite 1
Asheville, NC 28801
“This year, we had an unprecedented opportunity to dialogue with our community about ending rape culture. This holiday season, we appreciate being a part of a community that is willing to engage in that conversation and begin exploring how to shift the current paradigm of sexual violence against women. As we look to the New Year, we are pleased to be working with other community agencies to locate our services in the Family Justice Center, which will provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It is our wish that our collaborations with other disciplines and agencies will improve services for individuals and the community as a whole.”
Needs for office:
• Copy paper
• Art supplies: sketch paper, colored pencils, markers, rubber stamps, stamp pads
• Bottled water
• Coffee
• Toilet paper
• Kitchen-sized trash bags
• Journals
• Legal paper pads
Needs for hospital bags:
• T-shirts (plain, logo and graphic free)
• Sweatpants
• Lounge/yoga pants
• Men and women’s underwear (new, unopened packages)
• Men and women’s socks (new, unopened packages)
• Chapstick
• Individually-wrapped snacks (cookies, pretzels, crackers)
Monetary needs/contributions:
• $10 teaches a teen how to avoid risky on-line behaviors like sexting, and how to maintain a clean and safe digital footprint.
• $50 pays for clothing for five victims of sexual assault met at the hospital.
• $100 pays for training materials for five victim advocates.
• $500 pays for 10 hours of counseling for a survivor of sexual violence.

Carmen Julious
Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services, Inc.
2638 Two Notch Rd., Suite 108
Columbia, SC 29204
“We hope that people living with HIV can live free of stigma. We hope that people will get tested and reduce risk behavior. We hope that we all take ownership of the HIV epidemic and work to end it now. If you are living with HIV, you are not alone. Reach out for help and live!”
• A nurse practitioner
• IT help
• Free space for the clinic
• Donated land or house for housing program
• Food for emergency pantry
• Gift cards for clients
• 2 new laptops

Nathan Smith/Joyce Brooks
Regional AIDS Interfaith Network
601 E. 5th Street, Suite 470
Charlotte, NC 28202
“Throughout our 23 year history, RAIN has been the recipient of tremendous support from volunteers and donors. Without it, the care for thousands of youth, adults and senior adults with HIV and their loved ones could not have been provided. Thank you, Charlotte, for your generous spirit!”
For clients —
• $10 Gift cards from Walmart or grocery stores
• Household items
• New kitchen items (pots, pans, cooking and eating utensils, small microwaves, toaster ovens, kitchen towels etc.)
• New bedding and linens (sheets, towels, mattress pads, blankets, pillows, bedspreads/comforters, etc.)
• New blow up mattresses
For agency —
• Pro bono printing for agency marketing materials
• Pro bono carpentry expert to build conference room shelving
• Office storage cabinet

Rodney Tucker
Time Out Youth Center
2320 N. Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205
“2016 will be the 25th anniversary of Time Out Youth Center. We are thankful to be the oldest LGBTQ center in the state and hope to continue educating the community and bringing people together. Our center will be expanding services to LGBTQ homeless youth and services in rural communities.”
• Volunteers daily from 3-6:30 p.m. to help with drop-in space,
• Host Home volunteers to help a homeless LGBTQ youth from one night to 90 days
• Supplies for emergency financial assistance program: toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, soap, shampoo and laundry detergent
• $10 gift cards to Food Lion, CVS, Walmart, Target, VISA, Subway, BoJangles and McDonalds

Addison Ore
Triad Health Project
801 Summit Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27406
620 W. English Rd.
High Point, NC 27261
“As always, Triad Health Project is so grateful for the generosity of the Triad community that has sustained the agency for almost 30 years. As we enter a new year, we stand fast in our vision of a world without AIDS and are committed to our goal of no new infections.”
• Contributions of any amount
• Food Pantry
• Liquid Nutritional Supplements, i.e., Ensure, Glucerna
•  Bus tickets for client transportation to medical appointments

William Southerland
Triad Pride Men’s Chorus
200 N. Davie St., Box 20
Greensboro, NC 27401
“I just hope that everyone has a safe and peaceful holiday wherever they are and whomever they are with. And, if that isn’t possible, that they can find some tiny comfort despite whatever may come their way.”
• Rack mountable mixer
• Road rack mount case

Alynn Woodson
Youth OUTright
P.O. Box 1893, Asheville, NC 28802
“Youth OUTright is actively gearing up for a huge 2016. With the addition of middle school-age programming and constant expansion in our teen attendance, we’re expecting a year full of joy at the opportunity to meet the needs of more LGBTQ youth in Western North Carolina, but also some growing pains as we do our best with the limited resources we have, to update the infrastructure of the organization and make it more sustainable for the future. Everyone at YO is deeply grateful for any and all gifts we receive from the community. They may not be much to you, but they mean everything to our youth. Thank You!”
• Binders (all sizes)
• Storage tubs (large)
• LGBT books and DVDs
• Arts and crafts supplies (paint, paint brushes, small canvases, adult coloring book, yarn, etc.)
• Notebooks
• Toiletries
• Makeup
• Snacks
• Hangers
• Hanging rack for clothes
• New vacuum
• Desk for youth room
• Gift cards (Target, Walmart, Ingles, etc.)
• membership*
• Permanent youth meeting space in downtown Asheville (capacity 35-50)*
* These items require more significant funding. Funds raised would be used to obtain major training and support for the board so that they can more effectively lead the organization throughout the year and into the future. We are also at a tipping point in being able to have adequate space for all of our youth.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.