The LGBT Giving Network celebrates people who generously give their time and money to charities in our communities. We regularly profile outstanding individuals or families who are making a difference!
Nelson Carvalho and Zak Miljanic
Nelson Carvalho and Zak Miljanic have been longtime supporters of LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS charities in Toronto. Nelson has been active in the community since the late 1980s when he helped organize the first gay South Asian group in Toronto, Khush. Today, both men are active volunteers in the community. Nelson is involved in his workplace LGBT employee group and Zak is on the Board of Directors of Inside Out Film Festival and was on the Board of the Out on Bay Street conference for LGBT business and law students. “Our organizations need help in other ways along with the financial,“ says Nelson.”In turn, volunteering provides opportunities to deepen one’s own level of experience.”
“We’re aware of how fortunate we are and feel an obligation to help others by donating money and time.” says Nelson. “It’s important for us to give back to the community and we also really enjoy getting to know the charities that we donate to.” Some of the groups that are regularly on their list to support include Inside Out, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Community One Foundation, the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. They also support friends who participate in the PWA Foundation Friends for Life Bike Rally and the Pride and Remembrance Run. Outside of the LGBT community, they support Plan Canada, Earthroots, Sick Kids Hospital and the Toronto Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.
Connie Bonello has been active and visible in the LGBT community for over 20 years and has been a leader and financial supporter of a number of LGBT organizations, including, the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at U of T, Casey House, AIDS Committee of Toronto, Out on Bay Street, Pride at Work Canada, ExeQutive, The Bill 7 Award, Supporting Our Youth and Out & Out. “I believe it is important not only to financially support LGBT organization but to also contribute my time and expertise in order to build a sustainable and stronger LGBT community”, says Connie. In addition to personally supporting and being actively involved in a number of LGBT organizations, Connie Bonello is the LGBT/Diversity Global Business Development Executive for IBM in Canada and South America. Through her work she shares Diversity and Inclusion leading practices with corporations in order to create more welcoming and respectful workplaces for the LGBT community globally.