By Rachel McMenamin, Grants Coordinator at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation
As most things look different during this pandemic, so will the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation’s annual AIDSWALK Tucson. For the safety of walkers, volunteers, clients, staff and our community, this year’s AIDSWALK has gone virtual. SAAF will host a week long AIDSWALK celebration from October 12-18. All activities will be held virtually and walkers are encouraged to walk individually in any way and any place they choose to walk.
While AIDSWALK may look different, what remains the same is our community’s commitment to coming together to bring an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. What remains the same is our community’s commitment to making sure our immunocompromised neighbors living with HIV/AIDS have access to care, housing, food and community.
During this pandemic, people living with HIV are living in fear for their health, for their safety, for their access to basic needs such as food, shelter, hygiene and human connection. During this pandemic it is clearer now more than ever that we need the testing, the prevention efforts, and the community education to bring the HIV/AIDS epidemic to an end.
Here’s how you can help support your immunocompromised neighbors and help to bring HIV to an end. Join in the fun of fundraising and walking for a cause that saves lives. Join SAAF for AIDSWALK Celebration Week this October 12-18. Here’s how:
- Register online at www.aidswalktucson.org: Once you register, you will receive emails and updates providing you with more information about AIDSWALK, tips and tricks for fundraising and ideas for your walk.
- Set a fundraising Goal: Setting a goal for your fundraising efforts will give you something to work towards and celebrate when you surpass it.
- Invite Friends and Family to join you: Make a walking team and invite friends and family to join.
- Fundraise to meet your goal: Share why you walk on your social media channels.
- Attend SAAF’s drive through registration event: On October 12 and 13 drive to SAAF’s main office at 375 S. Euclid Ave. Signs will direct cars to the back of the building where you may pick up incentives and t-shirts and interact safely with vendors. Drop off any extra donations from your fundraising efforts.
- Tune into SAAF’s Social Media throughout the week of October 12-18 for access to virtual programming: Raise awareness and learn more about HIV/AIDS and prevention efforts in a fun and interactive way. We will also be live streaming the traditional AIDS Memorial Quilts Ceremony to remember and honor those we have lost to AIDS.
- AIDSWALK Your Wheels: Decorate your cars/bikes/skates to show your support for AIDSWALK for the week of October 12-18.
- Walk. Run. Have Fun: Once you register, you can walk whenever you want. Be creative and walk as far as you want and where you want. Walk in a park, go for a run around the block, walk on a treadmill, walk in your house. The possibilities are endless!
- Take Selfies and share your walk on social media: Please take selfies of you walking and supporting this year’s AIDSWALK. You are invited to share your selfies in an email with SAAF’s Events Manager Jess Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org and please share your photos on social media using the hashtag #AIDSWALKTucson2020.
- 10.Make a gift at www.saaf.org/donate: SAAF is uniquely positioned to address the needs of HIV-positive individuals whose safety, health, and very lives are threatened by this pandemic. Your gift to SAAF can save lives.
Prizes will be given to walkers who raise the most money as individuals or teams. For any questions about this year’s AIDSWALK, please contact SAAF’s Events Manager, Jess Patrick at email@example.com. SAAF is especially grateful to the generous sponsors of this year’s walk: TEP, Walgreens and GEICO.