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Help local charities on Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day on Aug. 20

SAN DIEGO – Leave it to the LGBT community to find an innovative way to turn a chicken sandwich controversy into a celebrated cause.

With the fury over Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy giving millions of dollars to anti-gay causes, LGBT Americans can fight back by donating cash to local charities that serve our community.

Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day has been set for Monday, Aug. 20, in San Diego and across the U.S. Locally, the event is spearheaded by the employees of Mo's Universe, a family of restaurants comprised of Urban Mo's Bar & Grill, Baja Betty's, Gossip Grill and Hillcrest Brewing Company.

“We didn’t invent the chicken sandwich. Just the cause. We have plucked this opportunity, to invite those who stand against us, to stand with us and to give our time and money to better the lives of everyone,” said Eddie Reynoso, an employee at Mo’s Universe.

“I challenge Mr. Dan Cathy and Mr. Mike Huckabee [who inspired the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day] to take a day and join us in sunny San Diego, where together we can volunteer our time and tour these three worthy organizations whose work only serves to uplift and give flight to humanity," he said.

Local organizers have chosen three charities to help: Being Alive San Diego, Family Matters at The San Diego LGBT Community Center and San Diego Remembers.

Representatives from each charity will be set up at each participating location to accept donations, which organizers say will be evenly divided.

Chris Shaw, president of Mo’s Universe, has agreed to match the contributions by his employees.

"Our 'family' values are also community values. We strive to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone- from any walk of life, as long as you are true to yourself and the best person you can be," Shaw said.

Shaw committed his four restaurants to Chick-fer-gAy Appreciation Day. They are:

-- Urban Mo's Bar & Grill, 308 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

-- Baja Betty's, 1421 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

-- Gossip Grill, 1440 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

-- Hillcrest Brewing Company, 1458 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

Other restaurants and businesses in San Diego and around the U.S. are encouraged to sign up for the cause HERE.

Appreciation Day media sponsors include SDGLN and SDPIX.

More about the charities chosen

-- Being Alive San Diego is a volunteer-driven organization that works to enrich and enhance the personal dignity and equality of life of people living with AIDS and HIV through mutual support, access to information, public advocacy and social interaction.

At least 15,000 San Diegans are HIV-positive or have AIDS. Many more people are estimated to have HIV, but are not yet diagnosed, and 76% of San Diegans with HIV/AIDS live below the federal poverty level, which adds economic stress to their daily physical challenges.

Being Alive San Diego announced on Aug. 2 that it would cease operations by month's end if further funding could not be secured. Donations to Being Alive San Diego can be directly made HERE.

Find them on Facebook.

-- Family Matters is the family program at The San Diego LGBT Community Center. It provides resources, education, support and opportunities for community engagement for LGBT-headed families and those considering parenthood.

From the provision of school supplies and basics to families impacted by the financial downturn, to workshops focused on parenting skills, school choice, resources for adoption/fostering options and including family activities, Family Matters provides LGBT-headed families the support and resources many need to develop and sustain healthy and affirming child and family development. This array of educational support and resources, coupled with affirming social opportunities, is provided to about 2,100 LGBT parents, grandparents, relatives and their children each year.

Donations to Family Matters can be directly made HERE. Please designate “Family Matters” on your donation.

Find them on Facebook.

-- San Diego Remembers is an organization whose mission is to raise awareness of hate crimes in our community and to remember those who are or were victims of acts of hate and/or violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We are a small group of local San Diegan’s that strive to make a difference in our community. We respect each other for our unique individuality, and as a whole press for the importance of equality for all,” says the mission statement.

Donations can be mailed to: San Diego Remembers, PO Box 34662, San Diego, CA 92163

Find them on Facebook.

For additional information, contact Eddie Reynoso at 619-491-0400 (office), 619-818-8897 (direct) or by email at eddie@urbanmos.com.