Fall is so crowded with LGBT gatherings that two garden party fundraisers will overlap with each other. Both the Health Initiative and Lambda Legal will hold garden parties in Midtown on Sept. 23.

Since changing its name last year from the Atlanta Lesbian Health initiative to The Health Initiative, the group’s focus has also changed. It no longer exclusively a lesbian health organization but now address the health needs of all in the LGBT community. 

“Since we have broadened our mission to include everyone, we have had some new challenges that we knew we might face when we planned to make these changes almost two years ago.  Mainly, we want to ensure that we cover the full continuum of the lives of our clients,” says Jo Giraudo, board co-chair. 

The funds from the Garden Party, which is held at Einstein’s, will go into the general fund. According to Executive Director Linda Ellis, the party is the Initiative’s largest source of unrestricted funds.

“Much of the most important work we do — like training new low-cost clinic partners or helping individuals access care thorough the Health Fund — is not easily funded by grants,” Ellis says.

“We have more folks calling each day and asking for support,” she adds.  “What that means for us is we have to do double time in managing the Health Fund and in building partnerships with new providers, especially in areas outside of Metro Atlanta.”

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