Meet Center Volunteer Barry Weiss

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I grew up in a family where my parents were involved with volunteering in the community so it’s always been in my mind to give back with my time.

I began volunteering at the Center 15 years ago by helping out with theatrical productions put on by Cultural Arts. I’ve set up  the theatre lobby prior to shows, greeted and checked-in guests, seated audience members, and broken down the lobby afterwards. I love volunteering with this department because I interact with people coming to the shows, some whom I’d normally never get to meet. Each show draws a particular segment of the LGBTQ community. Sometimes it’s an older lesbian crowd, sometimes a younger set of hipsters, sometimes totally mixed. It’s a plus they’re all happy because, after all, they’re here to see a show.

One memory that really stands out is when I was about six inches from Liza Minnelli as she was greeting folks after a show she did with Coco Peru in 2014. I volunteered that night to be the reception’s bartender so I brought her something to drink.

In addition to Cultural Arts, I’ve volunteered with Development team to make phone calls to donors; with Seniors Services to input data and assist folks in the computer lab; and with Youth Services to make sure clients get a meal or go through the clothing closet.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve delivered meals to seniors during Thanksgiving and helped with a special drive-in screening held on a Hollywood rooftop for Coming Out Day.

Volunteering at the Center for all these years has helped me expand my acceptance of others. I come in contact with people so different from my background and interacting with them has opened my mind. I’ve really developed a sense of empathy.

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Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Year Started Volunteering at Center: 1995

Volunteer Positions: Cultural Arts/Senior Services

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