Though we continue to hear stories of a slower-than-expected economic recovery, I’m thrilled to share good news from Broadway Cares which will hopefully translate into help and a sense of optimism for all of us, including so many who are struggling and look to us for help and support.
In the first few months of 2012, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has already awarded $1.5 million to food service, meal delivery and food pantries around the country and $750,000 to nationally recognized AIDS service providers and advocacy organizations, as well as $3.6 million to vital programs of The Actors Fund such as the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
But what is even more remarkable is how much more these figures represent. It is made up of tens of thousands of acts of outrageous creativity and uncommon kindness; incredible generosity of talent, time and energy; hilarious onstage antics and heartfelt, quiet moments of remembrance and embrace.
I cannot think of any other industry that comes together time and again, season after season, in ways large and small to raise funds for those facing a wide variety of crises and challenges.
Much has changed since Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS first came on the scene.
With your help and great support, BC/EFA has expanded its mission to now fund a number of programs at The Actors Fund. It began with the creation of the HIV/AIDS Initiative in 1988. In 1996, BC/EFA stepped up with the first support for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and we remain the program’s largest funder. In the ensuing years, BC/EFA added continuing support for the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, the Actors Fund Work Program, The Dancers’ Resource and more. In doing so, together we ensure that everyone in the industry has access to the safety net of social services The Actors Fund so expertly provides.
At the same time, your support allows BC/EFA’s national grants program to help hundreds of AIDS and family service organizations nationwide – food banks and meal delivery programs, health clinics, housing programs, emergency financial assistance programs and much more. In this time of hardship for so many, you make it possible for BC/EFA to reach men, women and children who do not have the resources or blessings that many of us can be thankful for.
Sometime the calls for help can be overwhelming. They leave you wondering what any one of us can do that will make a difference. How many posters or Playbills can be signed; how many appeals made? But every dollar in a bucket, every cabaret benefit and autographed souvenir sold makes one of our grants a little larger and someone’s life just that much better.
Your efforts will help buy medicines and fund counseling for those who would otherwise do without. Your support keeps the doors at a health clinic or a food pantry open, provides diapers for a child, dog biscuits for a client’s beloved pet or bus fare to a recovery meeting.
Thank you for joining hands with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, particularly in these days of so much finger-wagging and angry fists. With your help, I hope that Broadway Cares can always be a haven for folks struggling or in crisis and a home for those who want to do something about it.
To those who have been a part of our fundraising and grant-making for years and to the many who may have recently joined Broadway Cares’ efforts, there is little more to say than thank you.
Your generosity of spirit is BC/EFA’s greatest blessing. It is a rare and invaluable resource; one we steward with great appreciation and care.