There are a couple of charities I try to actively support. One is the NC Tour de Cure, which I’ve mentioned in the past few days. Another is the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, whose annual Sexual Freedom Summit is in August, and for which I also donate my time and photos. But one I haven’t yet mentioned is HIPS.
HIPS is an organization based in Washington DC that helps people on the street engaged in sex work, sex trade, and drug use in a variety of ways. It’s a cause I support for its willingness to help those society would most like to forget.
HIPS promotes the health, rights, and dignity of individuals and communities impacted by sexual exchange and/or drug use due to choice, coercion, or circumstance. HIPS provides compassionate harm reduction services, advocacy, and community engagement that is respectful, non-judgmental, and affirms and honors individual power and agency.
We believe that those engaged in sex work, sex trade, and drug use should be able to live healthy, self-determined, and self-sufficient lives free from stigma, violence, criminalization or oppression. We will achieve this through engaging sex workers, drug users and our communities in challenging structural barriers to health, safety, and prosperity.
One of the things HIPS does is collect individual sample-size bits of personal care products to distribute to those on the street who need them. Whenever I stay in a hotel (which isn’t often), I’m always sure to collect the shampoo, conditioner, soap, and whatever other little complimentary items the hotel has in the room for guests. When I’m in DC for the Summit in August, I’ll add my bits to the donations box they keep there for the purpose.
If you happen to be in a hotel between now and August, please consider collecting those little bits and bobs. If you’re not going to the Sexual Freedom Summit (and why aren’t you??), and won’t be in the DC area anytime soon, I’ll be happy to deliver them for you personally.
And if you’d like to help support HIPS with actual money, I’m sure they won’t mind.
To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.
I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.