Many of us are fortunate to go through life surrounded by family and friends who are there for us whether we need their support or want to share life’s joys. Unfortunately, there are many people in our community who, because of a health condition, don't always have that same support. It is in support of these individuals that I am writing to you now.
My name is David Velenovsky, and I am a volunteer with TIHAN, the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network. TIHAN's mission is to provide compassionate, non-judgmental service to those affected by HIV/AIDS, and to raise awareness about the public health issue of HIV and help end the stigma too often attached to this disease. I am writing to you in the hopes that you will read the rest of this message and, in the spirit of Arizona Gives Day, make a donation of ANY amount, in support of those living with HIV who TIHAN helps.
Why am I involved? Years ago, I had a friend who suffered from HIV/AIDS. It saddened me to see how some people who claimed to be his friends treated him once they learned he was HIV positive. It's difficult enough to deal with a life threatening disease without also being judged and stigmatized. I know if TIHAN, or an organization such as TIHAN, had existed then, things would have been much different for him. Too many people, like my friend, are judged because of their HIV status. Fortunately, these days, through improved medical treatment andcare, people with HIV/AIDS are living longer and living well. But sadly, the judgment and stigmatization is still too common. I hope you can find it in your heart to support the people and programs of TIHAN, an agency that becomes a friend and family to those who are living with HIV/AIDS. TIHAN provides the same kinds of care and compassion that anyone else with a life threatening illness should receive.
Some of the services provided by TIHAN are:
Living Well with HIV Program: This series of classes, presentations, and discussions addresses various facets of living with HIV, and empowering people to become more active participants in their own physical, emotional, and spiritual health and wellbeing.
CareTeams: CareTeams are made up of several volunteers who are assigned to one CarePartner (a person who is living with HIV or AIDS). Team member take turns meeting with and supporting the Care Partner. Some of the services include, but certainly not limited to emotional support, friendly visits, running errands, cooking, respite time for a primary caregiver and transportation to medical appointments.
Poz Cafe: This is a monthly lunch provided free to those living with HIV/AIDS. It's an opportunity to get out of the house, take a break, meet other positive people.
Care Packages: TIHAN provides care packages load with donated toiletries and personal care items (soap, shampoo, toilet tissue, etc)--things that you cannot purchase with food stamps.
Information, Referral, and Advocacy: TIHAN helps link people with HIV with the programs and services that can support them to have their needs met and live well.
TIHAN Does Not Receive Local, State Or Federal Funding. We exist solely because people like you donate the necessary funds to allow TIHAN to continue to provide these valuable services to those in need who are living with HIV/AIDS. Without the generosity of caring, compassionate individuals like you, there would be no TIHAN.
Please join with others in our compassionate response to HIV/AIDS, supporting those living with HIV and working to raise awareness and address the stigma.
Thanks again for visiting TIHAN’s Arizona Gives page, and thanks for your support -- please forward a link to this webpage to anyone who you think might want to donate too!