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Empowering Spirits Foundation's second annual Proud Hearts Reach Out day of service set for Oct. 9

SAN DIEGO — The Empowering Spirits Foundation (ESF) will hold its Proud Hearts Reach Out service events across the nation on Saturday, Oct. 9, ahead of National Coming Out Week.

Community service events will take place in cities across the United States.

In San Diego, where the organization is headquartered, volunteers will begin a canyon restoration project. ESF volunteers will assist the San Diego Park and Recreation Department in restoring the Gonzalez Canyon in Del Mar from 9 a.m. to noon.

Other events include assisting Habitat for Humanity start construction of a new home for the Flamen family in Birmingham, Ala.; assisting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee serve the hungry in Nashville, Tenn; assisting the DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests in Miami, Fla., and assisting the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Partnerships for Parks to help restore a park in Manhattan.

For Proud Hearts Reach Out 2010, ESF has collaborated with the Department of Defense Federal Globe (DOD FED Globe), Gay 4 Good - San Diego, TexTango, yOutSpirit.com, BAGSLY, and the University of San Diego Pride Club to once again participate in a day of service-oriented events designed to allow LGBT individuals to work side-by-side with their non-LGBT counterparts.

These partnerships are designed to allow LGBT individuals to work side by side with their non-LGBT counterparts in a day of service-oriented events.

The goal of Proud Hearts Reach Out is to open and develop channels of communication between both communities.

“ESF is proud to be working with various organizations to address many of the major issues facing Americans today; affordable housing, inadequate health care, and a lack of funds for neighborhood revitalization,” said A. Latham Staples, ESF president and CEO.

“These issues affect people of all sexual orientations,” he said. “This year’s day of service is not only a great opportunity to help those in need, but to also work side by side with non-LGBT individuals in a non-partisan manner in an effort to engage in dialogue, promote understanding and equality.”

"Any time we build coalitions through mutual efforts with the greater society, huge strides are made in educating the public,” said Lisa Kove, executive director of DOD FED Globe. “Once those that might not have previous exposure to, or understanding of the LGBT community, find themselves in a situation where they’re working alongside us, barriers and misconception are broken down.”

“TexTango’s decision to partner with ESF was a no-brainer," said Rudy Camacho, company vice president. "As a mobile advertising company, our goal is to bring brands and consumers together. On a more humanistic scope, we also embrace opportunities to connect people supporting the greater good, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Gonzalez Canyon is located at 4512 Lansdale Drive in San Diego. Volunteers are asked to park near the restrooms and meet in front of the metal gate directly across from them. Closed-toe shoes are mandatory for participation.

Volunteers are asked to visit www.empoweringspirits.org to RSVP. For more information on this and other events, visit www.empoweringspirits.org or call (858) 523-8201.