Hi. So if you look at my posting history, it’s 99% AIDS Walk & AIDS Ride diaries. Yeah, back in May I posted about going to the U2 concert in Chicago. But really — it’s about the Walk & the Ride; and heading into the fall season, it’s #AIDSWalkATX. This year, it’s in early November:
In its 31st year, AIDS Walk Austin returns to Republic Square on Saturday, November 3, 2018. Benefiting ten sharing agencies including AIDS Services of Austin, this event brings together people (and pets) from all walks of life!
AIDS Walk Austin attracts 1,000+ people annually for an afternoon of celebration and remembrance of those affected by HIV. This year, the Walk will partner with the Farmer’s Market to create an amazing festival atmosphere that will be fun for the families, friends, and pets.
Together, we can add up the steps to equal Zero new infections.
Hi there. So most of my diaries are about the AIDS Walk or the AIDS Ride. And they all have U2 videos — this one will, too. But the title comes from a song from a different band. Shocking, I know. But the man who wrote it said this is the song he’s proudest of in his career, and it’s gorgeous and true and heartbreaking — and I knew I should use it for an appeal to the heart about the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Today starting at 11:30, my team, the Wheelie Nelsons, has a matching challenge, so please donate anything you can.
So back to the title. Snow Patrol released this song a few days ago, and I’m obsessed. I can’t stop listening to it. Here’s the chorus:
This is not love you’ve had before
This is something else
This is something else
This is not the same as other days
This is something else
This is something else
Shouldn’t need to be so fucking hard
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
It doesn’t need to be the end of you, or me
This is life on earth
It’s just life on earth
The lyricist is writing about his own struggles, but the words are so universal — they made me think about the difficulties people have with HIV/AIDS. Here’s a link to the video (of the 389,000 views, I think I’m probably 1,000 of them)
And here are some quotes about helping, matched with heartwarming stories about how your donations have helped people:
Marie T. Freeman
If you’re too busy to give your neighbor a helping hand, then you’re just too darned busy.
Sam is 50 years old and has been living with AIDS for over 16 years, receiving assistance from AIDS Services of Austin periodically for ten years. There she has found a connection with others who have the same needs. She has an outlet to give back by exchanging her story and encouraging others to live in a positive way. The help she has received through ASA’s Food Bank and the Medical Nutrition Therapy program has truly transformed her life.Sam became a success story because of YOU who have donated. There are thousands more who need you too, and the numbers keep rising.
Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.
Maria is 27 years old. She had been positive for several years when she discovered she was pregnant. She moved into Roosevelt Gardens, where she had a nice place to call home with rent she could afford. With the support of Project Transitions’ HIV Services and the David Powell Health Center, she had a healthy pregnancy and her baby boy was born healthy and HIV negative. Now she is back at work, and thanks to you has the resources and support she needs to care for her son.We want to keep people like Maria healthy. People with AIDS deal with so many other illnesses that exacerbate each other and the agencies we fund address the full care continuum. Staying healthy pre-empts expensive illnesses that make people miss work or lose their jobs – it keeps people going. For every $100 spent on keeping people healthy and on their health care, we save $1,000 on expensive emergency room visits. It just makes sense not just for our hearts, but also for the whole community.
There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
Project TransitionsProject Transitions is dedicated to providing hospice, housing and support to people affected by HIV/AIDS in a compassionate and caring environment. Its hospice, Doug’s House, is the only facility in central Texas dedicated to in-house medical care for patients with AIDS and AIDS-related complications. Project Transitions also provides affordable, transitional housing with supportive services for individuals and families affected by HIV through three housing programs: Roosevelt Gardens, Highland Terrace and Community Housing. These programs are partially supported by the proceeds from its thrift store, Top Drawer, which has been open since 1993. Project Transitions’ goal is to help transition the homeless by providing support to gain the life-skills needed to live independently, and then move into long-term, affordable housing of their own. projecttransitions.org
If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
The Wright House Wellness CenterSince 1988, The Wright House Wellness Center has offered care and compassion to Central Texans affected by or at risk of HIV and other chronic illnesses. Wright House provides resources for support, education and empowerment. Services include: HIV/Hepatitis C testing, education and prevention programming, HIV/Hepatitis C case management, HIV food bank and nutrition services, HIV mental health services, and complementary health therapies (acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga) for persons affected by HIV and/or Hepatitis C. thewrighthouse.org
my favorite quote about helping:
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
and yeah, I know you’ve seem this video, but I’m gonna make you cry again:
In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.
Friends of David Powell Health CenterThrough the Friends of David Powell Health Center, money raised helps support the only public clinic in Austin specializing in medical care for persons with HIV and AIDS. The Clinic provides primary care, medical case management, immunizations, nutritional counseling and health education services to uninsured and underinsured patients in all stages of HIV infection. fodpc.org
Dr. Loretta Scott
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
here’s a video with people talking about why they do this ride:
And the video from my boys — which also has apt lyrics: “write a world where the can belong to each other, and sing it like no other”
Starting at noon central time Thursday, there is $15,000 in donations to be matched for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Meaning: AIDS agencies in the Austin area can (will?) get $30,000 donated in just one day! Please donate at my HCRA page. Here is information from the Ride about where those dollars go:
Why is the Hill Country Ride for AIDS So Important?
Thanks to our amazing riders, volunteer crew, donors, and sponsors, the Hill Country Ride for AIDS has raised more than $8.5 million since the inaugural year of 1999. You should be so proud!
Below are just some of the many services your DONATION dollars do for thousands in our Central Texas community.
LOOK AT THE POWER OF EVERY DOLLAR!
Covers one rapid HIV test – we know that 40% of people who are HIV+ don’t know it yet. Through testing, we can get them into life saving care, and further reduce the spread of the HIV virus.
Food voucher for emergency needs – many of those living with HIV are also living in poverty, and can’t afford their medication and nutritious food. This makes sure they get the food they need.
Medical co-payment for one patient – keeping people in consistent medical care keeps them healthy and connected to services. We know this saves lives.
Buys someone nutritious food for one month – A month of nutritious food allows someone living with HIV to focus on staying healthy without worrying about the basic need of having enough to eat.
Pays for a one month’s supply of medical prescription co-pays – Medications can reduce the HIV virus so much that it keeps someone healthy and also reduces the risk of passing it along.
Provides a counseling and support group session for someone newly diagnosed – We know that many feel isolated when first diagnosed, and that staying social and connected gets people into care earlier, allowing them to stay healthy.
Provides prevention education for 440 people – 20% of Americans still believe you can catch HIV from drinking after someone. 60% say they are unsure what safe sex is. Education is one of the most important tools in reducing new infections.
Pays for a specialty medical appointment – Many people with HIV/AIDS have unique medical complications. It’s good to know a specialty medical professional can help them out.
Provides life skills training – This helps people who are well to learn to present themselves in a job interview, find housing, learn to read, gain computer training, learn nutrition, and discover their self esteem.
Keeps someone healthy with one month of medications – Medications can reduce the HIV virus so much that it keeps someone healthy and also reduces the risk of passing it along.
Provides 7 hours of outreach to find people and get them into care – If you are homeless or unemployed, your HIV may not be at the top of list of your priorities. By finding people and making sure they get the care they need, lives are saved.
Provides 3 family counseling sessions – It can be devastating for a family when a member is diagnosed, and we know that an intact family unit promotes health and provides a built in support network.
Pays for a month of rent for one family in supportive housing – Assistance with food, daily chores, trips to medical appointments, and social support create a foundation for continued health and a step toward independence.
Gives 450 home cooked meals for hospice patients – When in hospice, there are often unique food needs. You can make sure that final days are spent with favorite, delicious meals that don’t upset someone’s stomach.
Pays for an outpatient procedure for an uninsured client – many with HIV/AIDS do not have insurance. You can cover the expenses related to a needed procedure.
Provides four months of medication – Medications can reduce the HIV virus so much that it keeps someone healthy and also reduces the risk of passing it along.
I was at the Austin march on Saturday & it was amazing. What a smart, talented group can pull together in a short amount of time. People were happy & friendly — it reminded me of AIDS Walk Austin & the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. And, because I’m me, a U2 song was playing in my head — Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way. Especially these words: “write a world where we can belong to each other, and sing it like no other”. It seems to me that’s what this generation of activists is doing, and that’s what the Hill Country Ride for AIDS does. And then I saw an Instagram drawing that Bono did for David Hogg after he heard that they were listening to U2’s music. Seems I was more in tune than I knew.
I’ve been keeping my head down lately, because my heart cannot take any more negativity. There’s all the awfulness in the world, and then my best friend is in hospice with the nth recurrence of brain cancer. She fought hard for four years, which is a lot longer than many with glioblastoma get — and her daughter is getting a break from her profs at MIT, they are letting her spend a lot of time down here. I go visit as often as I can, but she is sleepy a lot; I try not to think of any one visit as being the last. Another friend died in a car accident in January, and a friend’s mom — who I called my substitute mom when my parents lived overseas – is in the hospital with heart failure. So you can see where my heart is a little fragile.
This is the 30th year of AIDS Walk Austin & I’ve done every damn one of them. I love the AIDS Walk & the Ride and the people who work at AIDS Services of Austin & the other agencies. They are an example of how we should be — caring for each other, carrying each other. If you haven’t met me, I’m just a teensy bit of a U2 fan, so yeah that was a reference to a song.
One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should.
One life with each other: sisters, brothers.
One life, but we’re not the same.
We get to carry each other, carry each other.
I’m doing the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, weather permitting, on Saturday — there’s a 50% chance of thunderstorms. Right now, they’re saying later in the day Saturday but yesterday they were saying Friday night/Saturday morning, so I’m not sure they have any idea really. As you can see by the picture, I’m not the fittest chick. But I do this ride, because it matters. It literally feeds people, gets them subsidized meds, social workers to help with all the things us healthy people don’t think twice about.