I have volunteered with a variety of organizations during Pride since I started going in 2002, mostly STOP AIDS (I think for obvious reasons). However, the weekend's success is reliant upon literally hundreds of people staffing booths and marching and running around with walkie-talkies who do not get paid for their hard work. It's an insane logistical nightmare that has, in the past, been headed up almost exclusively by one or two people (hell yea, Kathy Laufman!).. and it's mostly thankless. If you are going to Pride and you want to help out, even for a couple hours, here are the seven places that have sent requests (that I know about) for volunteers:
- Councilmember Greg Harris -- One of the most supportive councilmembers in Cincinnati has requested people to march with them in the parade. One of his volunteers says this in an email: "Since Greg stepped into Cincinnati politics he has been an outspoken supporter of fairness, and equal rights for our community. This election we will be losing a supporting voice on Council, thus, it is critical that Vice Mayor Crowley’s voice be continued by Councilmember Greg Harris. Both Vice Mayor Crowley and Councilmember Harris have a history of standing with our community when it is not politically popular—it is imperative that we keep that history alive." Interested people should email spencer at keepgregharris dot com.
- Equality Cincinnati -- EC seems to be looking primarily for help with their booth staffing, from their Facebook event invite (linked above): "It is that time of year again, Pride is upon us and we need your help at the Pride Festival. Equality Cincinnati will once again be having a both at the festival and we are looking for people to help man the booth during the event... If you can give two hours or more of your time on either day, we would love to have you. It is a great chance to socialize, network and spread the word of what Equality Cincinnati has and wants to do in the Greater Cincinnati Area." If you want to help out, email Dan, dpdrentec at aol dot com.
- Equality Ohio -- EO is actually looking for volunteers for every Ohio Pride, including people to staff booths, march in parades, collect EHEA signatures, sell memberships, etc. All volunteers will receive an Equality Ohio t-shirt.
- HRC-Cincinnnati -- Looking for people to staff the booth, march in the parade, and canvass the crowd to support the Human Rights Campaign. Interested people should contact their local email address, hrccincinnati at gmail dot com.
- IMPACTCincinnati -- The activist network is not, to my knowledge, marching in the parade, however, they do have a booth two days in a row that desperately needs to be manned (or womanned, or trans'd... gr... needs to be covered). I'll be there Saturday afternoon with Juliet, as will Cody! Come say "hi" even if you can't help out! Email IMPACTCincinnati, impactcincinnati at gmail dot com.
- Ohio Democratic Party LGBT Caucus -- Sent out via Facebook (linked), looking to fill shifts at booths, sell memberships, and get petition signatures.
- Squealing with Pride 2009 -- Pride Planning is pretty much over, as far as I understand, though they have huge needs in set up, take down, and just general operations. Trust me, this is the hardest job you'll do, but it can actually be a lot of fun (and you look cool, with a walkie talkie if you're one of the lucky few to snag one). Email the Pride Committee, pride at cincyglbt dot com.
See, now you can't say that you didn't know how to get involved. Lots of opportunities next weekend -- I expect to see you out!