As many of you know HIV/AIDS is very personal to me having lost both my father and my brother to the disease. I am a virtual walker for AIDS Walk San Francisco this year to raise funds for the National AIDS Memorial who now stewards the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
I started to volunteer for The NAMES Project shortly after the death of my father and remained with the organization through various capacities. Beginning as a volunteer then forming the South Florida Chapter and from there, I became a quilt display coordinator where I had the opportunity to bring sections of the Quilt to many parts of the US as well as to Russia, South Africa and Australia. I eventually joined the board of the NAMES Project and also assisted in organizing the 1996 display of the Quilt in its entirety on the National Mall in Washington DC. This was the first display that was attended by a sitting President and Vice-President.
It was the NAMES Project that helped me deal with the loss of my father and my brother who would volunteer for any AIDS fundraisers that I was organizing until his death in 1991.
So today I am writing to ask you to support my fundraising efforts to raise $5000 for the National AIDS Memorial as a Virtual Walker for San Francisco AIDS Walk on July 19, 2020.
The National AIDS Memorial, through the National AIDS Memorial Grove, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, The AIDS Oral History Project, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, and the annual World AIDS Day National Observance, works to honor those who died and their survivors, those living with HIV, and those who fought, and continue to fight against it. They strive to ensure that the lessons of AIDS and the AIDS movement are known in perpetuity so that never again will our national conscience allow a community to be devastated because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.
Your support is needed today more than ever! COVID-19 is reshaping our world and The National AIDS Memorial Grove and the AIDS Memorial Quilt are facing their most significant financial challenge since the early days of the AIDS crisis. Dozens of fundraising events, Quilt displays, volunteer workdays, and other gatherings have been canceled or postponed.
Because AIDS Walk will be virtual this year, the National AIDS Memorial has an opportunity to replace much of that lost revenue by building the largest and most financially successful AIDS Walk team ever! For the past four years, the National AIDS Memorial has been the top fundraising team of AIDS Walk San Francisco! Last year we raised a record-breaking $96,000. This year we’re raising the bar and have set a goal to raise $120,000.
Since the darkest days of the AIDS pandemic, AIDS Walk has helped dozens of AIDS organizations raise vital funds to support programs that provide direct services, memorialize and remember, educate and inform – all toward a common goal of ending HIV/AIDS. Together, we can continue our progress toward that goal -- even as we face the challenges of COVID-19!
The National AIDS Memorial and the AIDS Memorial Quilt now share a common mission. The funds you raise will enable us to continue to tell the stories they both hold, ensure the lessons of the AIDS crisis are forever remembered, and provide hope for a brighter tomorrow.
You can make a difference!
National AIDS Memorial is a small organization with a BIG HEART, and with your support we will reach our AIDS Walk 2020 goal of $120,000. Thanks to your generosity, on Sunday, July 19, 2020, we will gather the largest #TeamAIDSMemorial ever assembled, and virtually celebrate our success and our commitment to making a difference for our communities.