Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A walkin' we will go...

A walkin' we will go,

Hi HO!

A Mary YO!

A walkin' we will go.

What am I talking about now? Have I finally lost all my marbles?

Well, I haven't lost all my marbles. I think a few are still rolling around in my head.

I just registered to take part in the San Francisco AIDS Walk on July 16, 2006.

Ok, for those people who know me, they know that I would NEVER do AIDS Walk (willingly) and that I must have gone bonkers.

Well, while it's true, that I never do anything with AIDS WALK anymore, I do still support individual walkers and organizations individually. Instead of supporting a huge AIDS machine, I send in my checks to the organizations (that would benefit from AIDS WALK proceeds) directly. This way, I bypass the middleman and the organization gets more money.

I used to volunteer with the organization that produces AIDS WALK and because of some things I didn't like, I decided that I didn't want to support them anymore. That's why I changed how I get involved.

So you may say, "This is really boring, what are we talking about again?"

Weeeeeeeell, I decided to walk this year.

*insert sound of bomb dropping here*

There's actually a good reason this year. I am walking to support the San Francisco Gay Men's Community Initiative (SFGMCI). Every dollar that is donated will go directly to the SFGMCI. That's 100% folks! How often can you actually say that the whole donation will go to the charity and nothing to administrative, publicity, etc. costs? Almost never, that's how often.

So the big question is, why am I supporting SFGMCI?

Well, I guess it boils down to me wanting to help keep folks alive and healthy.

AIDS and HIV has been around for how long now? Over 20 years. People seem to have gotten "used" to the idea that it's here. The new generation of sexually active people (aka kids) grew up knowing about the disease, but have they really felt the emotional impact of it?

I still remember walking around S.F. and seeing all the folks with purple splotches on their arms and face.

I still remember asking where so and so was, only to find out that they are no longer with us.

I still have a hard time passing by certain houses, because Bobby, or Duy, or Dougie, or *insert name here* used to live there.

SFGMCI is taking a different approach towards HIV.

The group is trying to get people in the community to care about each other and by default, themselves. The idea is that, if people cared enough, they will think twice before putting themselves in danger of getting anything.

HIV is only a small part of staying healthy, but it's become a huge thing in our lives. Beyond HIV are all the other things that can make you sick. Like other STD's, substance abuse, mental health, excercise, friendships, etc.

That's why I am supporting SFGMCI.

So if you're in the area, please join me by walking with us on July 16, 2006, donate some money if you can, or just send us some friendly emails :)

My name is Howard Kwong and I am walking with the San Francisco Gay Men's Community Initiative - 9539.

Please help me spread the word among all your contacts.

Time marches onward,
Each step, someone's milestone.
Can you smell the rose?


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