at AIDS Walk 2006!
So, it's almost about to happen. AIDS Walk 2006 is taking place this Sunday. This is going to be the first time I'm taking part in a looooooooong time.
I'm doing it in order to raise much needed funds for an innovative approach to HIV prevention, the SFGMCI (San Francisco Gay Men's Community Initiative).
The following is a blurb from one of the volunteer organizers:
Over the years, many of us have sent donations to organizations such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to help offset the financial shortfall that reduced government funding has caused. Have you ever done that? The SFGMCI has never been funded by the government (and probably never will be), and yet has experienced its own "budget cut". In 2005 the SFGMCI was fortunate to receive a grant that allowed the SFGMCI to get its work underway, only to find that in 2006 the grant would not be renewed and it received $00.00. Talk about getting a running head start and then running into a wall! Unlike the SFAF, zero SFGMCI dollars goes to paying salaries. Every penny of the original grant, and any funds that have ever been raised, went to the activities and events of the SFGMCI. Because the SFGMCI is not government funded, and because its grant was not renewed, the SFGMCI has to take advantage of every fund raising opportunity that comes our way – selling Passport tickets, working at Pride, the AIDS Walk, etc.
Our community wanted something different – something that would look at life through their eyes. That's what the SFGMCI tries to do. We'd like to keep doing that, and to do it better, but we need monetary support just like those big organizations do to keep going. Somebody in Boston wants to start doing "Hi!" cards in his community. Someone in Portland is starting a Wilde Chats and there's already one in Toronto. Someone in Fort Lauderdale wants to start their version of SFGMCI. We're small. But what we do seems to echo from coast to coast! Why? Maybe it's because what we're doing is different and important. It's great to hear that other communities want to copy us, but what's important to us right now is our own survival. Without funds, we won't be here for anybody to copy! There are not many fund raising opportunities that come our way. The AIDS Walk is only two and a half weeks away. We need support from our own San Francisco guys. Toronto, Portland, and Fort Lauderdale will find their own way, with our guidance. But SFGMCI needs help now. Please go to the AIDS Walk web site and make a donation of any amount to the SFGMCI. Or become an SFGMCI sponsor and have people donate to you as an SFGMCI team member. If you would like to make an AIDS Walk donation to the SFGMCI, go to www.aidswalk.net.On the home page you'll see four pictures. The bottom right one says "Teams" (or just go here).
Click on the Team picture. Now you're on a new page that has a column of small paragraphs. Scroll down to the paragraph that says "2006 Registered Teams" and click that heading. That will bring up a new window with a list of all AIDS Walk teams. Scroll way down and look for "San Francisco Gay Men's Community Initiative under all of the "San Francisco" headings and click. You will now see the SFGMCI page and on the right is a box with a list of registered walkers. The first thing on the list says General Team Donation. Click on that, or on a team member, and follow the instructions to donate. That's it! If you want to register as a sponsor, go back to the home page and click "Register Today", then click "Join a Team", and then click "Join an Existing Team". Look for "San Francisco Gay Men's Community initiative 9539" and sign up.
One reason people do not donate to organizations is that they do not trust where their money goes. Come to our events and you'll see your money at work. Another reason is that it takes time to go through the process. Life is too short. Take time to read something that might make you laugh, to hear music that might bring tears to your eyes, and to help out a worthy cause. Thank you for your support.
So that's how I'm going to be spending this Sunday morning.
What will you be doing?
A thousand miles,
Begins with a single step.
In memory of...