Trinity Lutheran Church Awards $15,000 Grant to Chippewa Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center | Local

CLEAR WATER (WQOW) – In an effort to expand its reach, the Chippewa Valley LGBTQ+ Community Center is receiving $15,000 from a local church.

The grant comes from Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.

Dan Bennett-Hardy, the community center’s vice president of operations, said the money will be used to help pay for office maintenance, such as rent and staffing, as well as give them the opportunity to extend their services to rural areas.

Bennett-Hardy said rural LGBTQ members are underserved in those communities. When they don’t live near the Eau Claire metro area, he said it’s hard for them to find resources and a sense of community.

Bennett-Hardy added that Trinity Lutheran is a respected pillar in the religious community and they appreciate their support.

“A lot of our members have had to struggle between their gender, their sexuality and their faith, and knowing that they come from a place of love and that they respect members of the LGBTQ+ community certainly makes a lot of people very happy to know that a religious leader is helping us move in a positive direction,” Bennett-Hardy said.

Bennett-Hardy said the center could roll out its rural outreach program as early as the fall, depending on COVID-19 mitigation guidelines and protocols.

Jill E. Washington