May 14, 2018
2017 marked our 25th anniversary. We are proud of the many organizations and causes that we have
donated to and seek opportunities to expand our universe. During 2017 we continued to focus on our
core grantees, added a new organization to our roster LGBT Network - Long Island and made two hurricane
relief contributions in Houston and Puerto Rico.
The LGBT Network - Long Island seeks to help young and old LGBT individuals. With offices in Queens,
Nassau, Suffolk and the east end of Long Island LGBT falls under the radar of funders of larger NYC
based organizations. Caren visited them and came away impressed with their depth of services. She
particularly was excited about their advocacy for elders. We made an initial donation, and you can visit our
LGBT Network grant page here. For further
details about their program and services, you can also visit their website by clicking here.
The Alliance for Positive Change (previously AIDS Service Center) creative writing poetry program
(which we support) continues to be a beacon of light for its clients. Every Thursday morning a standing
room only crowd of 20 plus write and read poetry. It is led by two previous poetry program participants
Azeem Khan and Rosa Velez. We have added the 2017 thank you letter to our Alliance grant page along with
a recent article from Metro New York. An excerpt from the article follows:
For twenty-five years we have funded AIDS related organizations, the poor, underprivileged artists,
scientists, bicycle riders, film makers and various people/organizations that I have unintentionally
left out. We are always open for new suggestions. 2018 has already proved exciting and we look forward
to reporting on it and funding great causes over the next twenty-five years.
For 10 years, Azeem Khan went to therapy as a recovery effort for childhood trauma he suffered, but it wasn't
until he sought help from Alliance for Positive Change in 2013 and discovered poetry writing that he finally
began to heal.
"I used to write sentences that never turned into anything, and when I came to the Alliance, I saw creative
writing as one of its monthly activities. I went into the room that first day, and my life changed forever,"
Khan said. "Sentences I used to write in the past became my healing the thing that made me feel the light,
so to speak."
Fast-forward five years, and Khan is now a poetry leader of the Alliance's Creative Writing Workshop,
whose participants will host their annual poetry reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble to celebrate
National Poetry Month and the release of the 20th edition of the Alliance's literary magazine, Situations.
Workshop members, who Khan calls "lotus flowers," will unveil personal stories of transformation at the
reading and in Situations."
Phil Zwickler Charitable & Memorial Foundation Trust