As outgoing President of the Board of Trustees, I’d like to thank you for all that you have done to support the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts (AFWM). 2013 marks our 20th Anniversary and all of our good work is a direct result of your compassion and dedication to our mission of creating a positive community impact through innovative and empowering education and support in Hampden and Hampshire counties. Without you, none of our work is possible.
The family who just got back on their feet and finally saved enough money to move out of a friend’s basement still can’t afford to buy a bed for their daughter to sleep in. Because of the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts emergency assistance program, this little girl will have a place to lie her head down and sleep comfortably in order to be her best for school tomorrow.
A young man, feeling discouraged and defeated by life, finally finds solace among a compassionate group of men in AFWM’s Living Positive support group. He now has a place where he can discuss his concerns and share his experiences with other men who are living with HIV/AIDS.
A group of teenagers is scattered around the office one evening, working in pairs and trios to perfect their next presentation to a local school. These students have dedicated themselves to AFWM’s AIDS kNOw More Project. They have taken on the monumental task of learning all they can about HIV/AIDS prevention and related stigma, treatment, and risk reduction—and then they share it with others through a series of presentations to local schools and community events.
These are the reasons that I support AFWM. Since the foundation was formed in 1993 it has provided over $750,000 worth of emergency assistance to more than 2,100 individuals and families in our community. This is accomplished with only one staff member and a bare bones operating budget. Without the help of each and every one of you—whether you came to us as a guest at Viva!, the AIDS Walk/5K Run, or our first ever National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Conference—we could not have been able to help so many.
Please join me in making a donation to AFWM’s Campaign for Compassion. There are a number of ways to give and every dollar counts so please consider making your tax deductible gift today. The fastest and easiest way to make your gift is to go to www.aidsfoundationwm.org and click the orange donate button at the top right of the screen. You can also use the enclosed reply card and mail a check for $20, $75, $100 or whatever amount feels right to you.
As we prepare to celebrate our 20th Anniversary, perhaps you would like to join me in becoming a premier member of our “Red Ribbon Society.” This is a group of dedicated donors who have made the pledge to become a sustaining donor with their recurring gifts of $20 or more each month.
No matter what level you are at, know that your donation will help enable the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts to meet an ever-growing volume of requests for assistance and continue to provide important HIV/AIDS education throughout our community. If you have questions about the work of The Foundation or about how to make your gift please contact executive director, Jess Crevier at 413-301-0955 or email@example.com.
Ann Gillard, Ph.D.
Member and Past President of the AFWM Board of Trustees