AIDS Awareness Week - Personal Tribute

Posted November 21, 2014 by

From November 24th to December 1st the world recognizes AIDS Awareness Week.  This is a time to remember those who have passed on, and to contribute to efforts that fight for the dignity, support and care of those living with HIV/AIDS.

As someone living with HIV I owe enormous gratitude to my local AIDS Service Organizations.  I was scared, even terrified, to walk through the doors of my local agency in 1997. Looking back now, it was the best decision I ever made making those first steps through their doors.  I felt there was nothing more to live for before accessing their services. I promise you, with the proper channels in place, life can begin again after tragedy.  I want to take the time and extend my gratitude towards the AIDS Service Organizations that gave me a helping hand when I needed it.

Volunteering has helped me give back to the agencies that have given so much to not only me, but others living with HIV.  It has been my experience both with ACCKWA and ARCH that they see the good in everyone.  They help you build your confidence, and give back to your community. I could offer my services to bigger corporations, but that is not where I would be of best use.  My job is creating friendships with local business owners and contributing meaningfully to my community.  

Even though I officially resigned as a volunteer after 17 years of service, I still contribute to my community through the Wrap-Up Party event. What started as a one-time event is now an annual celebration that concludes our AIDS Awareness Week.  In the four years that it has been running it has proven to be a successful addition to the fundraising family.  I love my job on this committee; collecting freebies from places that have a passion for the HIV/AIDS cause.  I am still a couple of thousand dollars short from where I was last year at this time, but my vibe tells me that we will bring in more this year.