World AIDS Day 2009: Be Brave, Go Strong, Embrace RED

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day.

Random Stats:-

If you live in the United States, please visit AIDS.gov

If you live in the United Kingdom, please visit WorldAIDSDay.org

How will you show your support?

  • (RED)

The Lazarus Effect

Join the Facebook group here. They are on Twitter here and to my understanding, if you tweet with #red in your 140 characters, you tweets will turn red for World AIDS Day.

  • The GAP goes (RED)

50% of the proceeds from any GAP (RED) products go directly back into the program to consistently improve it. The other 50% go directly to AIDS victims in Africa.

You can visit the store here and read their social responsibility page here.

Nike is the latest brand to join the fight to stop AIDS with “Lace Up Save Lives.”

  • Starbucks

On December 1, 2009 Starbucks will be donating $0.05 of each, of their HAND CRAFTED beverages sold, to Africa.

It’s commendable outreach, but I do have a opinion on this.

For lack of a better word: this completely sucks, is convoluted and absolutely ridiculous.

There I said it.

Five cents on each U.S. dollar, are you kidding me?

I’m only mentioning this promotion because it’s (RED) related, but if I were you, I would just boycott Starbucks on December 1 all together and donate the $5.00 you would have spent on that cup of coffee to ONE.org, who recently merged with DATA,  Heifer International or Doctors Without Borders (they have an event on December 14, btw).

[If you were curious, those are three organizations I fully support and that my family has personally donated too over the past few years. They are trustworthy, commendable and the majority, if not all, of your money goes to the cause.]

But in case you’re new to this whole promotions thing, Starbucks did the five-cents deal last year too.

Seriously.

The concert will be live on YouTube here, at 8 p.m. ET.

Another excellent organization and I love their mission.

“We are witnessing the complete annihilation of entire communities of people. Human beings like you and and me, infected with the deadliest virus known to man: AIDS. Spreading uncontrollably from person to person, the virus has led to the deaths of millions of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. The most affected are children. This devastating disease has created over 13 million orphans in Africa alone. This has become a race against time, not just for Africa but for the entire human race…”

If you have $5,000 to spare, my favourite (and one day I’ll buy one of these) item they sell is the “Key to Life.” It may cost $5,000, but it provides complete HIV/AIDS patient care for 18 people in Africa with one purchase. 100% of it’s proceeds go to those 18 people.

Also, you can check out Keep A Child Alive’s financial reports here.

  • MAC AIDS Fund

Have you ever drifted over to the MAC Cosmetics counter and seen all of those VIVA GLAM products?

Did you know those are items belonging to the MAC AIDS Fund, where 100% of the proceeds from those products purchased go to the MAC AIDS Fund?

Unlike a lot of other organizations, all the proceeds from this organization do not go to AIDS research, but rather, living expenses and the daily needs of those living with HIV/AIDS. It helps pay for things like medical bills, clothing, food etc.

There story goes something like this:-

In 1994, M·A·C first launched VIVA GLAM, an outspoken deep red that was universal in its appeal and its glamour. In 1997, a second lipstick was created, VIVA GLAM II, a lightly pinked mauve. VIVA GLAM III, a foxy brown plum lipstick was launched in 2000. VIVA GLAM IV, a heartfelt rose charged with gold, was introduced in March 2002. In March 2004, VIVA GLAM V was launched in both a Lipstick and Lipglass – to a tremendous response around the world which has continued to this day, thanks to the dynamic efforts and dedication of all the VIVA GLAM V spokespeople. In September 2006, VIVA GLAM VI Lipstick made its debut, a warm terracotta-plum with pearl finish. This is coordinated with VIVA GLAM VI Lipglass, a warm, shimmering, multi-dimensional plum that is imbued with pearl. Created to be worn over its namesake lipstick. Every cent of the selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS.

I personally love them and if you are on the Facebook, you should join the official MAC AIDS Fund Causes page, founded by yours truly, currently boasting over 9,000 members 🙂

2004 World AIDS Map, provided by Sheffield University.

(map information here)

  • Bono, Bob Geldof, DATA & ONE

Of all the organizations on the planet, this is probably my number one.

Why?

I love their mission, history and I volunteered with them for all of my four years as an undergraduate at the University of Florida. Plus, I’ve always said that Jamie Drummond, their executive director, yea…one day I want his job 🙂 Did you know he came from a communications background too?

They were one of the first organizations NOT to charge for the rubber wrist bands they gave out because their belief is that, they don’t want your money, they want your time so you can help them spread the the world about ending global poverty.

TIME Magazine, wrote a story on them entitled, “Can Bono Save the World?

Read, Five Scenes, One Theme: A True If Unlikely Story by Bono.

Read, Back in Ethiopia, Geldof warns about climate change by Bob Geldof.

Ask President Obama to Give a Global Gift.

Why You Should CARE

It’s been more than 20 years and every December 1 we take the time to stop from our busy lives and turn an eye to those in the fight against AIDS. Each year is marked with scary things: the number of infections, the death rate and if the global situation is getting better or far worse.

But in this 2009 we live in — this year is special because the newly formed UNAIDS is reporting that there has been a decrease in the past eight years in HIV infections in some of the most impoverished areas of the world. This means that HIV treatments and prevention initiatives are working. They are having an impact on those in the hardest hit areas and are moving forward to fight against this terrible disease.

So is a vaccine possible?

Well, according to the the results of the the world’s largest AIDS vaccine trail, done earlier this year in Thailand — yes, an AIDS vaccine is possible.

Just remember we don’t live on this lush planet, we call home, alone. So this year, when we wear our red shirts and put on those red ribbons, we should not only think about the fight against AIDS, but the possibility to move forward. That is the driving hope and more prevalent factor in success.

“Hope is the dream

of a soul awake.”

(French Proverb)

~*~

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the ‘Little Pink Book’ delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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