Empowering Spirits Foundation, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   7 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, LGBTQ, Economic Development

Location: 3535 Lebon Drive, Ste. 5211 San Diego CA 92122 USA

Mission: To dispel the negative stereotypes of the LGBT community and realize a society that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all through service-oriented activities designed to foster non-confrontational dialogue with our non-LGBT neighbors.
Results: To date over 5,000 ESF volunteers have engaged roughly 18,000 non-LGBT individuals in events across 42 cities nationwide. These events include neighborhood revitalization, housing builds, canned food drives, and environmental cleanup.
Target demographics: Non-LGBT individuals in areas typically opposed to equal rights.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 18,000
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: 4 national service events (Jan., Apr., July, Oct.), local events, and educational events.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I came across ESF on Facebook, and I thought their concept was pretty unique and was impressed so I R.S.V.P'd to their service event in Atlanta. I must say that I was impressed. I didn't really know what to expect, but we did a housing build and there were probably 40 LGBT volunteers and about 80-100 non gay individuals. Everyone was cordial, the event was designed to allow us all to engage in conversation with each other. I'm a 50-year-old big man and don't come across as gay. And when a few of the non gay people found out I was gay they seem surprised, but asked thoughtful questions. Because the event allowed us to get to know each other first I felt comfortable discussing these with them, and I could see each of them open up. ESF - I'm truly impressed and you have fan for life!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

ESF provides an amazing outlet for individuals with differing viewpoints to come together and get to know each other in a positive environment. I don't believe many other organizations do this.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Just keep doing what you are doing.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I heard A. Latham Staples speak in New York City. What a powerful message! The approach of Empowering Spirits is amazing, the video shown was truly inspirational. I can't wait to attend the next event in NY.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Talked to numerous people who speak very highly of ESF.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n/a

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I'm proud to serve on the board of the Empowering Spirits Foundation. What great work ESF does, to promote equality in such a non-divisive manner. And Latham is a true leader with a great vision. Keep up the great work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that originally I was a volunteer, and in 2009 was asked to serve on the board. I appreciate that the board is full of members from all walks of life, and from all over the country. I've also volunteered at various service events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the changed attitudes of those typically against LGBT rights.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, skilled, friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

truly change the world for the better.

Ways to make it better...

they had more money and could reach a larger audience. No other complaints though.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

none.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Latham is a truly remarkable young man, a visionary and kind-hearted soul.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Empowering Spirits is a great group of dynamic people that are giving their all to make the world a better place!I've seen them in action and they are working to mitigate hate and supporting equality for all citizens.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In working on equality issues and mitigating hate!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Good thoughts, attitude, process, and nurturing!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

A variety including the executive level.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Get more done in the way of mitigating hate!

Ways to make it better...

It is fine as is.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

My friend introduced me to Empowering Spirits in San Francisco. He told me it was a different type of gay rights organization that attempted to change the minds of non-gays. I was skeptical but went with him. I have to admit that I was blown away. I showed up and there were roughly 100 Empowering Spirits volunteers. A local church was there as well with about 50 volunteers. We broke off into a bunch of groups and did various neighborhood restoration projects from planting trees, to cleaning up a park and painting an out-building at a school. It was a lot of fun, but it was also really cool to work alongside the church members. They started to ask questions about being gay and most started to open up. It was great to see their mindsets change. What a great concept to dispel stereotypes Empowering Spirits!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping the group plant trees and paint a building.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that not only was I bettering society, but I was able to influence the mindset of those against gay rights.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very helpful and kind.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

truly improve the lives of millions!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering for Empowering Spirits Foundation last September, as a local volunteer coordinator for a national event. The mission of the organization (to create opportunities for GLBT individuals to have non-confrontational dialog with non-GLBT individuals through community service activities) was right up my alley, because I am passionate about community service, and I am also gay. The event in my area was basically rained out, but I continued to volunteer for ESF, writing grants, and now I am on the Board of Directors. I believe in what ESF does, the management (Latham Staples) and the few paid staff are all great to work with, and I truly believe that they are making a huge difference in our country. It is great to have at least one day a year where we can go volunteer as "out" GLBT and feel safe and know we are making a difference.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The feeling that I am personally working towards true equality and respect of the general population towards my (the GLBT) community, while encouraging people to do community service that positively impacts other communities at the same time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Everyone I have met at ESF has been amazing!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the world!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Great organization! I attended an ESF service event in Washington and had a great time. It's great to see a LGBT organization taking such a positive approach and making a difference in society. This is the way we'll influence those against us!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working with a group of 80 ESF volunteers to restore a neighborhood. We worked side-by-side with a church group and they got to know us to help dispel the LGBT stereotypes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that it is truly a positive approach to the gay rights movement! We worked with non-LGBT individuals and non felt threatened by us, and many began to ask us questions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nice, thorough, knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

truly change the hearts and minds of millions individuals who believe negative stereotypes of the LGBT community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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