Welcome to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation blog! My name is Catherine Iszard, and I have teamed up with Hyacinth to start this blog in hopes of creating a casual conversation between us and our supporters. We want everyone to know what is going on at Hyacinth, in New Jersey, and across the world to prevent the spread of the AIDS epidemic.
I am currently a senior at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School and you may be wondering how I got to this point. I am taking a Capstone course and decided to make AIDS my topic. Since September I have been developing a paper about social media and what could have happened to groups like ACT UP if they had social media as a tool in the fight against AIDS. Along with my paper, I began my project with Hyacinth. Hyacinth is the biggest AIDS service organization in New Jersey, and helping them with their social media is an honor. I enjoy volunteering and raising awareness about causes that mean so much to me. AIDS has impacted the world since 1980, and it is crucial for us younger generations to protect ourselves.
To get the word out, I decided to join Team Hyacinth for AIDS Walk New York – the largest single day AIDS fundraising event in the world – on May 18th, 2014.
In 1986, the first AIDS Walk New York had 4,500 walkers and raised $710,000. In 2013, 30,000 walkers raised $5.5 million for GMHC and more than 40 other tri-state area AIDS service organizations. One of them is Hyacinth AIDS Foundation. Hyacinth’s goal is to help people living with HIV, decrease the spread of the epidemic, and serve as a critical voice in the public debate surrounding AIDS in New Jersey. The epidemic we fight affects the people in our communities, and it is time to step up and do something. This walk allows Hyacinth to continue to provide direct services and reach out to men, women and children with counseling, preventive education and more.
We encourage you to register with Team Hyacinth or make your own team. It will be a fun day in Central Park with entertainment and food. The Walk itself is about 6 miles and will take 2 to 3 hours. The Walk begins at 10 am, while sign in opens at 8:30 am. You can also walk “virtually” with AIDS Walk New York, meaning that if you are not able to walk on that date, you may choose to register as a virtual walker and wear a red ribbon representing that you stand with the AIDS Walk New York community.
There are so many ways to get involved, and walking with Team Hyacinth is a great way to start. I encourage you to come in to our offices and talk to anyone: I guarantee you they will gladly help you and thank you for your kindness. Feel free to ask us questions on Twitter and Facebook or even share your thoughts! So register, fundraise, and remember why we are doing this: to end HIV/AIDS.