Today marks a milestone in the history of ActionAIDS – we’re launching our first blog, and you’re reading our first post. Perhaps this is one of our smaller milestones, but one that we hope will be valuable to our community.
Why our delay? It has to do with who we are as an organization.
ActionAIDS is a community built on the common vision that “No one should face AIDS alone.” That was our founding vision – exactly 27 years ago this past September. Our commitment to that vision is as strong today as it was then.
True to that vision, direct service has been our focus, and direct service means exactly that:face-to-face contact. There’s nothing “virtual” about it. It’s face-to-face contact in our offices, in the Philadelphia prisons, in homeless shelters, in our clients’ homes. And often those are homes that we have obtained for otherwise homeless clients, through our programs such as Casa Nueva Vida or our innovative “housing first” Harbor Project.
To give a few examples, it’s through our face-to-face contacts that:
- our case managers make a difference in our clients’ lives every day by making sure that they are getting health care and related services they need and are entitled to
- our HIV education and testing staff counsel individuals who are at risk for HIV and need to know their HIV status
- our volunteer Buddies provide one-on-one emotional support, companionship, and occasional assistance with the tasks of daily living to clients
At ActionAIDS, we’re committed to creating an AIDS-free generation, and often we can best accomplish this one person at a time.
But we’ve realized that the Internet is yet another tool that we need to use in advancing our cause, and we’re committed to it. We were selected nationally as 1 of only 10 AIDS service organizations to receive an AIDS.gov new media grant that enabling us to assess and expand our social media strategy. (We’ll be blogging more about that in the future.)
We hope that this blog is also a way for us to interact with our community of volunteers, supporters, and donors. We want to share with the world what we’re doing, the struggles and achievements of our staff and clients, the good work done by our many volunteers. Those will be some of the subjects of future posts.
So will you join us? What we really like about this is that you don’t have to be merely a passive reader. We need your support and involvement, so please bookmark us, come back often to check new posts, comment on them, and if you appreciate what we’re doing, “like” and “share” our posts on Facebook.
– Kevin J. Burns, Executive Director, ActionAIDS