Central PA's LGBT News Source

Helping with Pride 1 year old; seeking volunteers


“We want to raise the profile of the LGBT community in a positive manner” is what Travis Woodyard told Central Voice. One year later the all-volunteer Helping with Pride group is formally incorporated as a non-profit organization.

“We completed nine events in our first 12 months, resulting in hundreds of hours of community service,” Woodyard says.

Helping with Pride assisted with community service projects like bagging shoes for Alliance’s Shoes for Shelter’s Campaign in partnership with Classic Drycleaners. Or helping Dillsburg Library move to a new location. The nonprofit group has also bagged 1,200 pounds of green beans at the Central PA Food Bank.

Other organizations that have benefitted include: Central PA Animal Alliance, Alliance’s Shoes for Shelter’s Campaign; Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, when volunteers bagged 1,200 pounds of green beans for distribution; helped the American Red Cross with smoke detector installations, and assisted the Dillsburg Library with a move to their new location.

The board of directors behind HWP’s success have all agreed to serve a second year: President, Travis Woodyard; Vice President, Jeremy Maschak; Treasure, John Mills; Secretary, Andrew Akins; Board Member, Jake Hopkins.

Woodward had been looking “for an LGBT service organization, but none existed,” he explains. “So, with the support of my husband and a core group of friends I started Helping with Pride.”

In his search, many of the organizations Woodward found were religion based, “and that did not align with my personal beliefs. Rotary International was an option, however, the commitment they wanted with attending meetings weekly was more than I was looking for.”

Undaunted, the 34-year-old native Iowan founded Helping with Pride, a nonprofit organization registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dan Tobin, 47, took to the group quickly. Originally from Pittsburgh, he spent 18 years in Boston, followed by two years in Lynchburg, VA, before moving to the region. Once he settled into his job, he wanted to get involved in his local community, same as he had been in previous locations.

“During the next year we want to schedule a volunteer event each month,” Woodyard says.

All events will be posted on Helping With Pride's website. July events include baking cookies for families staying at the Hershey Ronald McDonald House, July 15, and hosting a booth at Central PA Pride Festival July 29. In August, the group will work with Habitat for Humanity’s Restore.

The board set two priorities for the next year. “We want to increase volunteer participation and raise about $500 to cover our minimum operating costs,” Woodyard says.