I met Allison, the summer student at the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, the other day when she delivered Save the Date cards for the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life to my house. This is my second year fundraising for the event, and will be my first year participating. I am blessed to be walking with a team of at least 4 women, who along with being wonderful and amazing, are committed to raising $1,500.
That's $100 for every year since I did my first report in the sixth grade, met Edward (!), and became an AIDS activist, an anniversary that occurs just days after the Walk, and is something you will probably be hearing more about the closer it gets to October.
Allison mentioned that, while our goal was nice, we should think of it as just that -- a goal, and not be too disappointed if we didn't reach it. When I told my friend Jess that later, she laughed, because as just about everyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time should know -- not raising $1,500 is not an option.
The Walk is September 23, 2012, and I encourage any Nova Scotians reading this to sign up to walk or support a team (mine, maybe?). If you are located elsewhere, of course you can still donate to my team at the above link, and find your own walk here for Canada and here for the U.S.
My team, Flaming Red, has raised 41% of our goal, so far, and we have signed up for the team matching program offered by my workplace. We are in the middle of a penny drive (put those pennies to good use!) and have many other events planned between now and September 23, including my favorite thing -- mass e-mails. I kid, my favorite thing tends to involve chocolate -- bake sales, ice cream socials, etc.
I would be lying, however, if I didn't admit I enjoy spearheading the mass e-mails side of the campaign too. I enjoy framing statistics within a larger appeal. I enjoy writing little "Did you know?" segments. Of course, I also enjoy talking about grade 6, Edward, and anything else to do with my involvement, which I am constantly questioned on. I love keeping people up to date on our progress and I love watching my tweets about our Walk efforts be shared far and wide -- thank you all so much!
Finally, fundraising for the Walk reminds me of a few things, namely, that I am privileged to work with quite possibly the most generous people in the world (a fact I am so, so grateful for). Larry Kramer may be right -- AIDS does have a hard time breaking people's hearts, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't work to change it. Challenge accepted. And finally, the obvious one -- AIDS isn't over, but together we can work and walk (!) to turn the tide.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, ASO's are chronically underfunded, please support your local AIDS Walk, and please consider donating to mine.