The Ferndale, Mich., nonprofit Wings Michigan was formed to help individuals cope after they were diagnosed with HIV infection. With the help of donations, volunteers at Wings Michigan have provided a cottage retreat on the banks of Lake Huron for person with HIV/AIDS on property donated to the organization by an individual who had died from AIDS. Anthony Williams, a volunteer with the organization, commented that people with HIV/AIDS had few places they could go without fear of stigma; this retreat provided them respite.
Wings Michigan owns seven cabins overlooking the lake; the organization rents the cabins for $5.00 per night to persons with HIV or a caregiver. Behind the cabins is a memorial garden for organization members who have died from an STD. Williams explained that they add a stone with the individual's name to the garden wall for each person who has died from AIDS. He noted that they lost two people last year and they have added names to the wall every year. He acknowledged that people are living longer, but they are still dying from complications associated with AIDS.
Volunteers are working to build a wheelchair-accessible cabin, and employees of Luxury Bath in Port Huron have donated time to build the cabin unit and help install the bathroom amenities. The organization is accepting donations of furnishings, such as couches, chairs, bedding, futons, and bath items. Donors will receive a free stay at a cabin or have their name on a plaque on the cabin, depending on the amount of the donation. Last weekend, members of two churches volunteered to paint and clean the cabins for the Memorial Day season opening. The organization also needs the assistance of volunteers on Saturday, May 18.
For more information, visit WingsMi.org, call (810) 359-2800, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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