I’m wearing red today, and so is DemiGoddess the Elder. When she reminded me this morning that today is World Aids Day, and informed me that she and all her friends had made plans to wear red to school, I was already wearing a red sweater simply by coincidence. I was simultaneously proud and embarassed to have been educated by Ms. Elder's clearly superior social conscience. But I think my red sweater still counts.
The magnitude of this epidemic seems overwhelming, but there are lots of ways we all can take action to help alleviate some of the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS in the world. Below are a few links to some of my personal favorite non-profits that already working to make a difference:
Mother Bear Project
Make a bear. Make a donation. Or, for the holidays, sponsor a bear for $10 in someone else’s name, and receive a thank-you letter that you can present to that person as a gift. The website also has knitting kits for sale for $15, which make great gifts—the kit includes yarn, handmade needles, a pattern, a tag, and a brochure about the Mother Bear Project. One knitter gave them to her whole family, even the fellas, last year, and wrote a great story about what happened afterwards, which is posted on the website here.
Open Arms delivers meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, both locally in Minneapolis/St. Paul and in South Africa. Their website includes volunteer opportunities, information on the World AIDS Day Beaded Artwork sale that is happening in downtown Minneapolis tomorrow, and links to make donations. They help distribute Mother Bear Project bears in South Africa.
Arm in Arm in Africa
This is another Minnesota-based group that works to alleviate suffering, improve conditions and create opportunities for changing the cycle of poverty and disease in South Africa. They also partner with the Mother Bear Project in distributing bears to HIV/AIDS impacted children.
World Camps provide fun and educational camp experiences for HIV/AIDS affected children in developing nations. They distribute Mother Bear Project bears to the children in these camps, and the thank-you notes I received a few months ago were from kids who had received my bears there.
“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
--Robert F. Kennedy