Hello friends, family, and other charming people!
This is my second year of involvement with AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC)! Last year I rode 545 miles in 7 days, from SF to LA, and raised $4,430.25 for the SF AIDS Foundation (SFAF), which provides medical care, testing, and prevention services in my community. Huzzah! ALC was such a transformative experience for me that I started working for the organization last year, to help make the Ride a reality for others in 2020. Huzzah!
Due to the pandemic, our beloved ALC has morphed into something different and beautiful - between now and May 30th, 2020, participants are committing to raise money and complete their own personal challenges through the My545 Program, because the need to act has only become more urgent.
What is the MY545 Challenge Program? MY545 helps participants define a challenge they wish to complete by May 30th, and continue their fundraising efforts!
For My545 Challenge, I am pledging to complete:
-- 545 minutes of plank exercises (follow the progress at www.getstorched.com)
-- 545 acts of art (follow the journey at www.katystorch.com)
In addition to asking for your support in my fundraising efforts, I will be organizing and offering virtual fitness classes that are donation-based; all proceeds will benefit AIDS/LifeCycle. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this; I would love to include you in my classes.
I'm part of the solution, and so are you. If we act now, we can help change the world together.
One of SFAF's goals is to see fewer than 100 people living in San Francisco newly acquire HIV in 2024. Friends, family, and other charming people: we can get there with collective action. In fact, in 2018, there were just 197 new HIV diagnoses reported. In the same year, an estimated 15,990 people were living with HIV in San Francisco.
I am proud to write that SFAF's clinics remain open during these trying months for our community. Our goal to help ensure equitable access of our services, with a specific emphasis on reaching people of color and other priority communities (including trans and gender non-conforming people) is guiding us forward during this difficult time.
If you'd like to know more about my story from last year, read on (and watch the video above!) - otherwise, before you go, please consider donating (and/or forwarding this page to others who might like to contribute) to help make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past.
Committing to ALC last year brought back memories of my time serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique, where over 2 million adults and children were living with HIV in 2017. During my time as a volunteer, I helped Mozambican teachers and administrators organize science fairs where testing for HIV was made available to all attendees. We provided testing for thousands of people, of all genders and ages. It was not uncommon for more than one person - often a young person - to be informed they were HIV-positive during our science fair testing services.
Back home and cozy in my San Francisco apartment a few years later, finding a way to integrate my work in Mozambique into my life post-service has not been intuitive for me.
However, committing to ride to raise money for this cause was a step in the right direction. Furthermore, continuing to be involved as a staff member has provided another step in the right direction. I'm grateful for any support, financial or other, that comes my way as I work to raise money for a cause that affects so many people around the world.