Black History Month is observed every February. This is an annual opportunity to pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity, and it’s also a chance to look at the countless achievements of members of our community here in Orlando.
In celebration of Black History Month and as an acknowledgment of his service to his community, Harmony Healthcare Orlando is proud to recognize Anthony Gray as one of Central Florida’s Outstanding African American Citizens.
A longtime resident of Orlando, Florida, Anthony Gray is the owner of Catering By Anthony, a local catering business. He is a remarkable person who many would agree has a heart of gold. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Anthony was an employee of the world-famous Parliament House. While there he worked closely with patrons and staff, treating everyone with dignity and respect.
During the 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns and eventual closure of Parliament House Resort, Anthony distinguished himself by utilizing his skills as a culinary chef by providing no-cost meals to unemployed LGBTQ+ citizens within his community.
At the beginning of the pandemic, there were several issues surrounding Florida’s CONNECT Unemployment website and phone lines that caused frustration among Florida residents. Many were left with no financial security and didn’t know where their next meal would come from.
Filling a need, Catering by Anthony provided 2-course gourmet home-cooked meals to those who had no income. During one of life’s difficult and most fearful of times, Anthony Gray’s unsung acts of kindness were instrumental in the survival of local unemployed residents.
It’s people in our community like Anthony that truly make a difference to those around them, and that’s why we’re lifting up his amazing contribution. He provided much-needed nutrition and mental wellness, while never wanting anything in return.
There are so many groups out there that are supporting their communities this month and beyond! Here are a few that are on our radar:
The Bros in Convo
This organization supports, promotes, and protects the health equity of Black gay, bisexual, queer, and same-gender loving men (GBQ/SGL) between the ages of 18 and 35. Local to Central Florida, they’re all about increasing involvement in the Black LGBTQ+ community.
Since Bros in Convo was established, they have helped over 5,000 Black GBQ/SGL men living in Central Florida by providing peer support, linking them to HIV preventative care, and connecting them to other community resources.
Let’s Beehive Incorporated
This Black female-led organization is on a mission to provide innovative HIV/AIDS health education workshops and prevention programs for children and adults. Their goal is to increase prevention awareness, reduce new HIV infections, and improve the outcomes of those living with HIV/AIDS.
Let’s Beehive’s focus on age-appropriate HIV education and philosophy of “using health education as natural medicine” has had a life-changing impact on many people.
Sistas Organizing to Survive (SOS)
Sistas Organizing to Survive is a grassroots mobilization of Black women in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Their mission is to educate Black women about HIV and AIDS and encourage them to get tested where they live, work, play, and worship.
Their programs and events have encouraged and enabled Black women to educate themselves and other members of their local Florida communities.
At Harmony Healthcare Orlando, we’re so grateful to be a part of a community that includes these outstanding individuals. We want you to know that you’re cared for, and are welcome to be a part of our community too!