In pursuit of a dream: 11 reasons to give

Let’s wrap up Give a Day 2011 with 11 outstanding reasons to give. Follow these links to read on…

Reason #11 GIVE For the 34 million people living with HIV

HIV is treatable and preventable.  No one should die because of AIDS. Give a Day donations help work toward a world without AIDS.

Reason #10 GIVE As an expression of our united will

Dr Danyaal Raza describes the power of the combined voice of those who give.  It is about more than the money. Dr Raza reviews our need to speak up on the topic of HIV/AIDS “to effect lasting change at a time when the fight against HIV/AIDS is at a turning point.”

Reason #9 GIVE To eliminate new HIV infections among children by 2015

11-year-old Nigerian Ebube Sylvia Taylor, writes “No child should be born with HIV; no child should be an orphan because of HIV; no child should die due to lack of access to treatment.” Through support of community-based responses to HIV, Give a Day donations will help realize this essential goal.

Reason #8 GIVE To promote awareness and decrease stigma associated with HIV

Give a Day is a learning organization. There is always more to learn about HIV. The more we learn, the less we can be confused and misled by stereotypes and stigma.  Learning together opens our minds to see life from new perspectives and can help us to care for one another more effectively.

Reason #7 GIVE Because millions need antiretroviral treatment NOW!

Dr Tim O’Shea describes his work in Uganda and describes the contrast between impressive progress in the distribution of life-saving ARV treatment and the remaining reality of millions who still lack treatment “largely for the lack of funds.”

Reason #6 GIVE To support innovative action-oriented HIV research

Smart research is one of the reasons community-based HIV programs become more effective every year to enhance treatment and prevention.

Reason #5 GIVE To light a fire

Give a Day is about even more than giving and learning.  A good education leads to action. William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet (and later politician), said “Education is not filling a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” We want to light a fire through Give a Day.  We want that fire to burn brightly, to show a vision of a new and better future for the people and places affected by HIV.

Reason #4 GIVE To demonstrate a spirit of solidarity

If you look through the Give a Day blog posts, you see people from many sectors of society who have joined in the effort.  Here are young lawyers in Ottawa showing that they care and challenging their peers to give generously.

Reason #3 GIVE To maintain hope for a better world

Hundreds of high school students became involved with the Give a Day campaign this year, through not-so-trivial contests, speeches, donation-drives and ribbons of hope.  Young people are inherently hopeful.  May their hopes be realized for a better and healthier world.

Reason #2 GIVE To work toward a world without AIDS

Dr Winnie Siu reminds us that “an AIDS-free world will one day be achieved through – and only through – the synergy of our collective contributions.”

Reason #1 GIVE Because life slips away

The number one reason we press on is because everyone deserves the opportunity for a long, healthy and meaningful life.

Today is the last day of 2011. Martha Nussbaum says “The pursuit of a dream requires dreamers: educated minds that can think critically about alternatives and imagine an ambitious goal.”  Our ambitious goal is a world without AIDS. If you have not already done so, please give one day’s pay today to make this dream come true.

First Give a Night Ottawa a Great Success!

Organizing Committee- Give a Night Ottawa

On Sunday, December 4, 2011, Ottawa area lawyers, articling students and other young professionals gathered at Social Restaurant and Lounge for cocktails, mingling and most importantly, to support an amazing cause.

Hosted by Ottawa articling students, and graciously supported by the Ottawa community, the FIRST ever and SOLD out Give a Night debuted outside the Toronto market. Glamorously-dressed guests were treated to a “red-carpet” experience, complete with photographer, DJ, and an incredible list of silent auction items. VIP booths were also provided to marquee sponsors Norton Rose OR LLP, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, and Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

As you can see from these photographs, the young professionals in attendance certainly demonstrated how to “party with a purpose”. From the inevitable bidding wars that ensued, to the stimulating conversations that sprung around the ambient event area, the night provided several memorable experiences for all that attended.

The event was wildly successful, generating over $4, 000 for the Give a Day campaign. Due to the fantastic response garnered by Give a Night Ottawa, the organizing committee has already set its sights on a bigger and more successful event next year.

Make sure not to miss Give a Night 2012, Ottawa!

St. Aloyisius Gonzaga Secondary School Goes Red for World AIDS Day

St. Aloysius Gonzaga school-wide ribbon of Hope. Photo by Andrew Motyliwski

Mary Schroder, teacher at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School writes…The school community of St. Aloysius Gonzaga celebrated AIDS Awareness week and World AIDS Day.

The week began with a school-wide video presentation on HIV/AIDS, and continued with daily reflections and cupcake sales in the cafeteria.

A guest speaker from “Give a Day to World AIDS”, Jacob Philpott, spoke to a packed theatre and inspired the students with his experiences in Uganda. The week culminated with a red ribbon campaign, where each classroom door was decorated with a huge red ribbon and AIDS reflection. Students and staff wore red on Dec. 1st and created a school-wide human ribbon of Hope.

Funds raised will be donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
It is my hope that one day all schools will participate in World AIDS Day and raise funds for an AIDS charity of their choice.

Residents Without Borders Photography Exhibit – The Gladstone Hotel

Thursday, December 15 will be opening night for the annual Residents Without Borders Photography Exhibit in support of World AIDS Day and Give a Day to World AIDS. Always an exciting event, this year’s show promises another fascinating and beautiful collection.

The photo exhibit opening will take place from 6 pm until 9 pm on Thursday, December 15 at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West in Toronto. Photographs will be available for sale, with all proceeds going to Dignitas International and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The exhibit will continue until January 2, 2012, so be sure to add a stop at the Gladstone to your calendar and to drop by to enjoy this collection before the show closes.

GLINT- Learning About HIV on World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day, Give a Day held the first ever GLINT Challenge.  The Give a Day Live Not-so-Trivial Challenge was a marathon for the mind – a one-hour online twitter-based contest organized by Give a Day volunteers on the topic of HIV and the people and places most affected.  Over the course of one hour, 200 questions were tweeted from GLINT headquarters, recognizing that 200 people in the world die each hour because of HIV.  Aside from gaining a lot of knowledge, and bragging rights, the winning team would be able to direct $1000 in prize money to an organization that will use the money well in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

At noon on December 1, the volunteers at GLINT headquarters were ready with 200 questions and worked as a team to systematically tweet them out.  Twelve different twitter handles were registered in the challenge, and while individuals from Canada, the U.S. and South Africa played along, the most intense competition was between the multi-person teams which ranged from high school students, to a group of seniors from Toronto.  During the hour of GLINT, 1029 tweets were exchanged, causing some accounts to go temporarily over their daily capacity!  Teams quickly switched over to alternate accounts and kept playing.

Anne Greenwood, a GLINT participant commented, “GLINT was a great event! It was a great way to get together with people on World AIDS Day.  And the questions really got the conversation started. After we finished answering the questions, we sat around for over an hour discussing HIV/AIDS here in Canada and around the world.”

After all the tweeting was complete, the answers were tallied and the winner was @StratfordNWSS, the team from Stratford Northwestern Secondary School in Stratford, Ontario.  Runners-up were @BulldogAttack, @anne_greenwood and @bethanyphilpott.  The students at Northwestern met to discuss different organizations and have decided to direct their prize to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The GLINT Challenge winners- Stratford Northwestern Secondary School!

Volunteers who organized this challenge report that it was an exhilarating experience. We often say that Give a Day donors are very unique. They have the ability to connect at a distance with people they will never know, and to see common ground and shared similarities.  Twitter has now given us a new way to connect with others who are concerned about HIV in the world and to work together to get people talking about HIV and how we can learn and respond. While we might not ever meet personally with those who participated in GLINT, it was remarkable to spend an hour together on World AIDS Day, and to know that so many others were using their time and energy to work towards a world without AIDS.