I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I once believed the threat of HIV/AIDS was a thing of the past. My ignorance was undoubtedly a result of the silence that surrounds the disease. The absence of HIV/AIDS related stories in the media had lulled me into a false sense of security. That was until about a year ago, when I received the devastating news that a close friend of mine was HIV positive.
This realization opened my eyes to just how vast the HIV/AIDS epidemic is, and our small area in the Northeast is no exception. The toll HIV takes on people's lives throughout the year is unimaginable, but the holiday season can be especially difficult. The stress of struggling to participate in holiday festivities often causes these individuals to neglect their most basic needs in an effort to provide for their families.
In order to ensure our clients are able to enjoy a joyous and healthy holiday season, the Holiday Sponsor Program was created. By sponsoring one of these needy individuals or families you let them know they have not been forgotten, and that their struggle is not meant to be fought alone. Over the years the Holiday Sponsor Program has become a beacon of hope within the community, and with your support we can continue the tradition.
This is my first year coordinating this program, and the enthusiasm and generosity that previous sponsors have shown throughout the years is nothing short of overwhelming. The sense of pride and enjoyment that participating in the Holiday Sponsor Program has granted them is truly rewarding. Their excitement quickly overcame me, and I found myself representing the program with a zealous spirit of tenacity.
Even with the holiday season already upon us it's not too late to help and individual or family living with HIV/AIDS. If you would like to sign up and participate in the Holiday Sponsor Program, please contact me at (518)434-4686 Ext. 2415 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get you the necessary information to make this a memorable experience. Once you have completed your shopping, you can drop your wrapped gifts off at one of the AIDS Council's five offices. To help ensure that people have their gifts in time for the holidays, we ask that all donations please be submitted by December 9th.Michael Starr is a Development and Marketing intern at the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. Now completing his Associates degree in human services, he plans to pursue and undergraduate degree in social welfare. Michael brings exceptional interpersonal skills and dynamic eloquence to the development/marketing team. Michael volunteers at the AIDS Council because he believes his unique set of skills and motivation will make him an asset to the organization's mission to increase the public awareness of HIV/AIDS.