Puttin’ my best foot forward…

In lieu of sending out a form letter e-mail, I’ll make a form letter blog post! :mrgreen:

walk_072.jpg On Saturday October 6th, 2007, I will join thousands of other people on the 21st annual AIDS Walk Washington. This event is a 5K fundraising walk/run, benefiting and produced by Whitman-Walker Clinic.

I would greatly appreciate your support for this worthwhile cause as would Whitman-Walker. My current fundraising goal is $500 (but this is subject to change if I actually exceed it). Would you please visit my personal AIDS Walk Washington website and make a donation today?

Most people know that I’m not a fan of passing the hat around, or going from desk to desk with a sign up sheet. I don’t do Girl Scout Cookies or pizza dough or anything like that. I generally give my time when I can, and money or other resources when I can’t. I haven’t even participated in the AIDS Walk in recent years except to find someone and give them a donation. When I first moved here, I volunteered, I walked, my first year living here I even threw a big party with my housemates to raise money. Unfortunately the party was so big, that we were all a bit hungover the next day and none of us made it to the walk, but at least we were still able to make a huge donation.

It’s nearly 10 years later, and if you pay attention to the DC statistics at all, you know that the problem is no better now. Some info-points from Whitman Walker:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate that more than one million Americans are living with HIV. Up to one-third of them do not know they are HIV-positive.
  • It’s estimated that one in every 20 adults in the District of Columbia is infected with HIV.
  • DC has the highest rate of new AIDS cases per 100,000 population in the United States — a rate that is 10 times the national average.
  • In DC, the greatest increase in AIDS cases is occurring among people of color, women, injection drug users and through heterosexual contact.
  • In DC, 82 percent of all AIDS cases are among African-Americans.
  • More than 15,000 people in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area live with AIDS. Tens of thousands more people are estimated to be infected with HIV.
  • Nationwide, someone under the age of 25 is infected with HIV every 30 minutes.

I have HIV+ friends, and I am grateful for every day that they are able to live their lives and remain healthy and happy. We’ve come a long way in being able to treat people with HIV, but not cure them. My friends are fortunate, they are able to afford the drugs that keep them healthy. Whitman-Walker provides care to those that aren’t so lucky, no matter what their financial resources are, and in the DC area considering how many people here are undocumented to put it kindly, that goes a long way towards providing health services to people that would otherwise be unable to afford them or in some areas, denied them outright. I’ve personally taken advantage of their free HIV testing, and I know others have attended educational program and counseling groups.

Since I haven’t done this in a while, I put a goal of $500. I would love to be able to go back and raise that, but the walk is on October 6th, barely 10 days away. I realize I’m a little late to the game and other participants have probably already hit up their friends and family for donations, but I’m just trying to do what I can. Additionally, while I am late, I don’t consider it too late for anyone else to sign up if they haven’t already. I’ll be walking with the team from Whitman Walker, and I’m sure they’d welcome more walkers. 🙂

Thank you so much for your support and generosity.

Your friend/blogger/ranter/reviewer/obsessive poster of French and Saunders videos,

(urban bohemian)

If you have any questions about AIDS Walk Washington or Whitman-Walker Clinic, visit www.aidswalkwashington.org for more information.

Whitman-Walker Clinic is a nonprofit, community-based organization founded in 1973 that provides and facilitates affordable, accessible health services to the Washington metropolitan area. With the advent of the AIDS epidemic, the Clinic became a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Clinic has headquarters in northwest D.C. with regional branches in southeast D.C. and northern Virginia. In addition to medical care, the Clinic’s services include HIV testing and counseling, addiction services, a day treatment center, a food bank, mental health programs, legal services and an at-cost pharmacy providing HIV medication. You can find out more about the Clinic at www.wwc.org.

Your contribution will help Whitman-Walker Clinic provide critical services to those living with HIV/AIDS. Every dollar brings hope and provides needed care. Please visit our fundraising website to make a secure donation online. You can also print a donation form at our website if you prefer to mail your donation. Checks should be made payable to AIDS Walk Washington and mailed to PO Box 73768, Washington DC 20056-3768. All contributions are 100 percent tax deductible.

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