Local and Community News
Her Cause: Educating Blacks About HIV/AIDS; Red Cross Worker Spends Her Free Time Giving Presentations
February 20, 2003
Vickey Polley was disturbed that African Americans account for half of the new HIV cases reported in the United States in 2001 -- so the administrative assistant for the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross decided to do something about it. "If I'm not going to be a part of the solution, then I'm part of the problem, and I'm not going to be a part of the problem," said Polley.Adapted from:
By taking classes offered by the chapter, Polley has become a volunteer HIV/AIDS instructor who specializes in the impact the virus and disease have on the African-American community. She gives 30- to 45-minute presentations to groups, including many local churches. Working to help prevent the spread of the disease, Polly has given presentations to neighbors in her apartment complex and, as a part-time associate at Black & Clark Funeral Home, has even given her presentation to the local Funeral Directors Association.
A co-worker noted that Polley sometimes uses vacation time to give presentations during normal business hours. Using her outgoing personality to help get the word out to as many people as possible, Polley "doesn't wait to be asked, she looks for opportunities to speak," said Suzanne Logan, the chapter's director of nursing and health services.
Colleagues of Polley say that she brings professionalism, energy and fun to the Red Cross office where she works. In addition to promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, Polley is a diversity advocate who helps ensure that the chapter is meeting the needs of every group in the community. Polley is content if just one person in a class uses and shares the information to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. "You don't know who that one person will reach," she said.
Dallas Morning News
02.18.03; LaKisha Ladson
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.