Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Doing Double-Duty From D.C. to N.Y.

This past weekend, AACAA did double-duty leading mass-impact, outreach events in both Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y.

In D.C., volunteers converged on the grounds of RFK Stadium for The Stone Soul Picnic. Stone Soul attendees were very responsive to our mission to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Hundreds of visitors dropped by AACAA’s table to obtain educational pamphlets and free condoms for their friends and family. Overall, AACAA volunteers distributed well over 8,000 condoms. It was great to see both young and old doing their part to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the D.C. community. New AACAA volunteer, Jared Lucas noted that "The Stone Soul Picnic was an excellent backdrop for our efforts providing great food and great music throughout the day."

4 hours north of Washington, AACAA Board members Felicia Gordon and Dionne Fraser conducted a street outreach on 125th Street and Lennox Avenue in the heart of Harlem. The weather was perfect for some (Felicia) and hot for others (Dionne). We were joined by Giliane Joseph, a Harlem doctor studying for her medical board exam. At about 2 p.m., significant excitement and energy developed around our efforts. Dionne observed: “We handed out condoms to residents who were as young as 15 and as old as 70. The psychology of passers-by is interesting to behold. People are generally shy about accepting the booklet and condoms but as more people take the condoms, more people find it acceptable. Then it becomes a tidal wave. The group that seems most rigid about accepting condoms tend to be middle-aged and married. We try to ask them to pass the condoms to someone else who might need them, but this does not always work.” In total, AACAA distributed over 4,000 condoms to Harlem residents in less than three hours.