Martha Cornog, Salon attendee and author of several books including The Big Book of Masturbation, compiled this excellent list of nonprofit organizations I urge you to support.
What Can We Do to Ensure Freedom to Love?
Making America Healthy and Promoting Tolerance
Those of us at the Erotic Literary Salon may not have all voted in the same way. But I think we all support the right to love as we choose, read and speak freely, and have sovereignty over our own bodies and health care.
Many, many nonprofit organizations work towards these goals. Here are a few in Philadelphia worthy of support in the form of contributions and volunteering.
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Blackwell at Locust Street
1144 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
[see website for centers at other locations]
PPSP’s mission is to protect and enhance reproductive freedom, increase access to reproductive health services and information, and promote sexual health. Planned Parenthood comes under fire constantly for performing abortions. Yet most of their work centers in providing affordable health care and contraception to women. And promoting consistent use of effective contraception is one of the best ways to eliminate abortion.
American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
1401 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103
“Through advocacy, education and litigation, our attorneys, advocates, and volunteers work to preserve and promote civil liberties including the freedom of speech, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, and equal treatment under the law. We stand in defense of the rights of women and minorities, workers, students, immigrants, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and others who have seen bias and bigotry threaten the rights afforded to all of us in this country by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
Free Library of Philadelphia
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
[see website for information about the 50+ branches]
Reading is fundamental to an informed citizenry, whether it’s tax information, finding a job, learning about being gay, enjoying a hot novel, or exploring what polyamory means. The mission of the Free Library of Philadelphia is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity.
Puentes de Salud Health and Wellness Center
1700 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Recent article: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/For-Latinos-in-South-Philly-clinic-is-a-bridge-to-health-and-much-more.html
This clinic ministers to the health needs of some 6,000 patients a year, most of them low income Latino immigrants, most of them undocumented, with no insurance. Puentes goes beyond basic care to also help clients with education, behavioral health, legal advice, and financial counseling classes. In addition, there’s an after-school counseling program run out of Southward Elementary School in South Philadelphia
Three groups of special relevance to LGBTQ folks:
21 South 12th Street
Mazzoni Center offers a variety of LGBT-focused healthcare services, such as food banks for the hungry, HIV- and STD-testing, mental and behavioral health services, and more.
1233 Locust Street
Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive AIDS service organization that provides state-of-the art, culturally competent primary care, HIV specialty care, consumer education, advocacy, social services, and outreach to people living with HIV and those who are at high risk. FIGHT treats patients regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay.
William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce Street
The William Way LGBT Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region. It’s services include drop-in, free and confidential rapid HIV testing and Hepatitis C testing. Trained counselors will be on-site to provide testing and education.”