Local and Community News
New Jersey's Helping Hands: "Angel" Assists People with AIDS
April 4, 2002
For people who believe angels exist on earth, Carol Bamesberger may well qualify as one. The 59-year-old Randolph, N.J., resident is the director of the Angel Connection, a non-profit organization she founded ten years ago to provide food, clothing, shelter and friendship to children and families with HIV/AIDS.
The Angel Connection has 50 regular volunteers and hundreds more Bamesberger calls on an as-needed basis to prepare, wrap and deliver holiday gifts, school supplies and winter coats. During the winter holidays, they wrap and distribute some 4,000 gifts. Volunteers also organize and refurbish donations of furniture, baby supplies, backpacks for children going to summer camp, and other necessities that parents with AIDS are unable to provide because of their illness. Bamesberger also speaks to church and school groups about AIDS prevention. She especially targets students in seventh and eighth grades. "I've buried children who became infected as teenagers and am concerned that youngsters still don't believe AIDS is a real danger to them, so I speak out," Bamesberger says.
In addition to assisting the organization's clients, volunteers are helping to renovate the Angel Connection's headquarters, a century-old mansion on the grounds of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany. People have donated money, time and skills to help her turn the rundown, abandoned house into a refuge for children. The work is proceeding despite some funding gaps: a $50,000 state grant was recently denied due to budget cuts. "It's not always easy, but I'll keep going and doing as much as I can for as long as I can," Bamesberger said.
Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)
04.02.02; Michelle Howe
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.