This article was submitted by Kyle Taylor, development coordinator at Affirmations.
Noah Cohen has been a volunteer at Affirmations since April of 2016. The LGBT community center has been receiving the support of volunteers like Cohen since its founding in 1989. Volunteers work throughout Affirmations beginning at their Welcome and Resource Desk, and extending through the youth programming, and even special events. In the following Q&A, Affirmations’ Volunteer Cohen talks about his deep commitment to the Center.
What made you want to get involved with Affirmations’ volunteer program?
LGBTQ+ Centers have always been an important part of our community and I valued the community center in San Diego. After moving to Michigan I went back to school full-time, but once I graduated I knew I wanted to find something positive to do with my spare time, and volunteering at Affirmations has been a great way to do that. It’s truly a great place to be a part of.
Why is Affirmations important to you?
Serving my country and community has always been important to me. It’s why I joined the Navy and served for 5 and a half years, and why I continue to find ways to serve as a civilian. I also believe we should be responsible for the positive change we want to see in the world whether that’s through volunteerism, activism or any other means. It’s one thing to discuss issues, or be mad at current events, but it’s another to find a way to do something about it. Volunteering at the front desk at Affirmations may not lead to world peace, but at least I can say I did something that will hopefully have a positive impact on at least one person’s life.
Are you involved with any specific groups at Affirmations?
I am the co-facilitator of the LGBTQ+ in Uniform group at Affirmations, which meets the first Thursday of every month. We are a group of individuals who have served or are currently serving as police, fire, emergency medical personnel, and military. People in these careers often experience discrimination in the workplace and their personal lives, making it difficult to live out and it can be difficult for others to understand their personal experiences. LGBTQ+ in Uniform is a safe space for those who have or are serving to express themselves.
What are you passionate about outside of volunteering?
Outside of volunteering I love to read. Most people who see me at the front desk probably know that since it’s usually what I’m doing. I love sci-fi and horror books, particularly Stephen King. Reading a really scary book in daylight at the center with people around definitely makes it less intense.
Are you interested in volunteering at the center? Visit goaffirmations.org/get-involved/volunteer for more information.