Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. It's a day to stop and educate ourselves a little bit about the crisis that this disease is causing both accross the seas and here at home. I would ask you to at least go read a little bit about this disease, and the people it's affecting. Let the statistics sink in a little bit. Put some faces to the numbers. Perhaps even let it move you to action.

I know that there are tons and tons of different agencies out there that we could support. I'm going to highlight one, because it's the one that is closest to me. A good friend of mine named John Andru took some time a few years ago to educate himself on the AIDS crisis worldwide, and he decided that he couldn't just sit back and do nothing. So he began a campaign called One Day For Aids. Essentially, he wants to raise awareness and spur people on to take a little bit of action to fight this disease, educate others, and help prevent it's spread.

It's a simple idea: the challenge is to give one day's pay or one day's time towards the cause of AIDS relief. Here's a blurb from his website that will help explain things a little further:

One Day For AIDS (ODFA) is a challenge to YOU to give ONE DAY to HIV/AIDS relief worldwide. Would you consider giving one day's pay, or half a day's pay, or one hour's pay to AIDS relief through one of three partner organizations [Doctors Without Borders, Mennonite Central Committee, or Serving in Mission]? Or would you consider giving one day's time by raising awareness, volunteering to care for people living with HIV/AIDS, or becoming an advocate? ...

Why One Day For AIDS?
It is easy to become overwhelmed by the statistics. What is another million people infected with HIV/AIDS when there are already over forty million people? Instead of shrugging it off, One Day For AIDS is a personal invitation to step up and make a difference. It's a simple concept. Could you give ONE DAY to give someone living with HIV/AIDS hope?

ODFA is about turning ordinary people into agents of positive change for this world and giving hope to people who need it most.

Go check out the One Day For AIDS website, or the World AIDS Day site. Or rent the documentary Dear Francis, a film about a team of university students who go to Swaziland, the world's most HIV infected nation, where they estiomate that 40% - fourty percent! - of the adult population infected with HIV/AIDS. See the studetn's reactions as they meet people, deal with the questions Swazi students ask them, and see the glimmer of hope that education is bringing to that nation. I've seen the film once, and it is incredible. It really brought this home to me.

I'm not writing this because I'm a high and mightily committed advocate for fighting AIDS. In fact, to be honest, I don't really think about it much at all. BUT, I can take some time to learn some more, to care some more, to help some more. Something is better than nothing.

I promised my friend John that I would take action today, and support One Day For AIDS/World AIDS Day. Part of that promise involves spreading the word. Would you take some time today or over the next few days to do something, too?

* One Day For AIDS * World AIDS Day * Dear Francis

1 comment:

happy and blue 2 said...

I'll read about it..
It is a big issue in the world..
I didn't read that part. I just know it is..