Nudged in between Thanksgiving and all the various gift-giving holiday celebrations that follow, is the lesser-known celebration: World AIDS Day. Albeit not as fun or as glamorous as other noted holidays, World AIDS Day certainly demands attention.
On December 1st, nonprofitshoppingmall.com is joining individuals and organizations from around the globe to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS is through effectively educating yourself and others about the disease. Our intention is to open your eyes to something you may not know about the AIDS virus and we strongly encourage you to pass this information along to the people you love.
An estimated one million Americans are living with HIV.
There are now 80,000 people living with HIV in the UK.
HIV is increasing in every region of the world.
33 million people are living with HIV worldwide:
30.8 million are adults
15.5 million are women
2.0 million are children under 15
There were 2.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2007.
2.3 million of these adults
370,000 of these children under 15
There were 2.0 HIV-related deaths in 2007.
Sources: UNAIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and www.AIDS.gov.
WAYS YOU CAN TAKE ACTION:
Here are some easy ways you can help reduce the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS:
1. Take a picture of yourself wearing a red ribbon. Be creative!
2. Add the photo to your social network profiles, Twitter, blog, and/or website before December 1st. Leave it up for at least a week.
3. Add your photo to the “World AIDS Day 08” Flickrgroup!
4. Encourage your friends to do the same and to promote HIV testing!
5. Copy the code below to add a “Facing AIDS” badge to your profile, blog, or website.
<a href="http://www.aids.gov/world_aids_day.html"><img src="http://www.aids.gov/images/facingaids_group2.jpg?src=724687" width="150" height="159" alt="Facing AIDS – World AIDS day 2008" /></a>
<a href="http://www.aids.gov/world_aids_day.html"><img src="http://www.aids.gov/images/facingaids_female2.jpg?src=724687" width="150" height="159" alt="Facing AIDS – World AIDS day 2008" /></a>
<a href="http://www.aids.gov/world_aids_day.html"><img src="http://www.aids.gov/images/facingaids_male2.jpg?src=724687" width="150" height="159" alt="Facing AIDS – World AIDS day 2008" /></a>
6. On December 1, Participate in a Blogging Call to Action. Go to http://unite.blogcatalog.com/ and have your voice join-in with thousands more to help make a difference.
7. To find HIV Testing Centers near you — Text: Your Zip Code To: KnowIt (566948) or visit www.hivtest.org.
In this month’s blog, we cover a rather difficult topic – that of rape, sexual abuse and incest. Until we started working on this piece featuring Christina Ricci, the national spokesperson for RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) – the country’s leading anti-sexual assault organization, I wasn’t truly aware of the staggering numbers associated with these heinous crimes, their ongoing psychological effects and where public policy issues currently stand with respect to reporting, prosecuting and DNA testing. I was also sadly ignorant of the wide range of personal violence that often goes hand-in-hand with sexual assault. While disturbing on many levels, the wealth of information available on the RAINN website is an invaluable tool and I hope you’ll take the time to read through and learn from its hugely important messages.
The timing on this is especially crucial with schools letting out soon for summer and with graduation holidays just around the corner. RAINN is the go-to site for first-time freshman going away to college, anyone planning to move out on their own or those getting that first job away from home. On April 14, 2008, RAINN launched its newest outreach program, a safe, secure, anonymous place for victims to get help online. Using an instant-messaging style format, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline allows sexual assault victims to communicate directly with trained crisis support volunteers available on www.rainn.org Together with its tele-based National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE), the organization will be able to provide a lifeline to victims trapped in situations where their only safe and secure link to the outside world may be through the Internet.
According to Scott Berkowitz, president & founder of RAINN, somewhere in America, someone is being sexually assaulted at the alarming rate of every two minutes. Almost half of these victims are under 18 and 80% are under 30. The new National Sexual Assault Online Hotline provides the services these young victims need, using the technology they embrace. In addition to providing support to victims of sexual assault, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline provides information about recovery, medical issues, the criminal justice process, and local resources for family and friends of victims.
We hope you find this month’s feature a worthy one and that you’ll shop online to support RAINN programming now and going forward. We want to especially thank Christina Ricci for her participation in bringing this to our and your attention and before signing off, encourage you to become a RAINNMaker to support the organization’s ongoing initiatives.
We’ll have more on RAINN with our regular features in our May newsletter – coming soon.
One of the world’s deadliest diseases – malaria – is an indiscriminate killer, affecting all age groups and primarily found in the worlds poorest nations, whose populations are least able to combat it. WORLD MALARIA DAY was established in order to raise awareness for and understanding of malaria as a global emergency that is both preventable and curable. It replaces ‘Africa Malaria Day’ which has been commemorated on April 25 since 2001.
Africa Malaria Day was a day that was set aside by African governments committed to rolling back malaria and meeting the United Nations malaria-related Millennium Development Goals. But now Member states of the World Health Organization agree that greater awareness is needed. It is hoped that with an internationally recognized WORLD MALARIA DAY, communities and organizations worldwide will mobilize and get involved in this continuing battle.
You can help by shopping online here and choosing The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as your nonprofit. The Global Fund provides more than two thirds of all international malaria funding.
For those of you unfamiliar with autism and its varied spectrum of disorders, take this month to learn more, as April is Autism Awareness Month. Additionally, through a UN resolution passed in 2007, April 2 is now officially World Autism Awareness Day. This UN resolution is one of only three official disease-specific United Nations Days and will bring the world’s attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions. The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. A random disorder, autism crosses all racial, ethnic, and social boundaries equally and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.
Across the globe, the autism community is celebrating its members and holding special events to raise awareness and money for research to find answers to the questions of its increasing prevalence in children in all regions of the world. One of the most successful events bringing this community together is the Autism Speaks Walk Now For Autism – Virtual Walk sponsored by Toys R Us.
This month we offer an introduction to this growing global health crisis and its premier advocacy organization, Autism Speaks. In our interview with actor John Schneider, whose roles span from television’s Dukes of Hazzard to Broadway’s musical hit, CHICAGO, Schneider offers insights to his personal experience with autism and talks about his greatest role, as a father with an autistic son.
As a former Development Director for Special Olympics Southern California I have had many opportunities to interact with children and adults affected by varying degrees of autism. I am amazed at the progress that Autism Speaks has made in the short years since its inception and hugely impressed that the organization has been able to galvanize so many of the major autism nonprofits to act with one voice in its efforts to find answers to autism’s cause and to support the research efforts in discovering a breakthrough.
I’m also happy to highlight two of our retailers in conjunction with our focus on autism – please take a couple of minutes to see how they each support Autism Speaks
This April, more than 500 Barnes & Noble stores around the country will host special autism Storytimes. Everyone who has been touched by autism should know about them. A complete listings of all the event times and locations can be found here.
We’ll have more on these retailers and others in our April newsletter – watch for it on the 6th. We’ll also introduce some of our new partners, keep you posted on our financial, tax and insurance services and give you the scoop on how to stop junk mail AND save trees at the same time.
Please make a commitment to become a do-er and keep Do Something in mind when looking for volunteer opportunities for teens, young adults and you this summer. We thank our gracious hostess Emme for her support here and her ongoing dedication to awakening the spirit of giving inherent in each of us.