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2011 Summer Appeal

To donate, please click HERE.

Do you remember what high school was like? All of the challenges of making friends, keeping up with social expectations, getting good grades – it wasn’t easy for most of us.

Now, imagine you are gay. Your father has kicked you out. The older boyfriend you have come to trust has turned his back on you. You are sick. You are HIV positive.

And it is one month before your high school graduation.

This bleak situation is just the one Michael found himself in just a few short years ago. For many young people this story takes a dark turn – drugs, alcohol, crime – or worse. Thanks to your support, Michael’s story is decidedly different.

“I found friends who were like me.”

Because of you, Michael is now living a life of victory over the hopelessness and despair that clouded his high school days. Michael was introduced to the Beyond Identities Community Center (BICC) at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. At BICC, he met other young people who faced similar challenges. He learned that he wasn’t alone and that he need not be afraid of his future.

I am writing to you today to tell you how much Michael, and all of the kids at BICC, appreciate your generosity. I hope that you will once again show your support.

BICC is a prevention education program that addresses the development needs of Cleveland’s LGBTQ youth in an effort to reduce their risk for HIV/AIDS transmission. Through programs that focus on health, leadership, advocacy, higher learning and life skills, BICC transforms the lives of young people every day.

You make BICC – and all of the essential programs of the AIDS Taskforce – a reality.

“My life started to turn around.”

Michael found more than friends and hope at the AIDS Taskforce. He found inspiration and motivation. Through the Mpowerment program at BICC he learned the skills necessary to be a leader. He now works at a major university doing advocacy work around HIV/AIDS. The life skills he learned helped him reconcile with his father and come back home. Michael is making a difference in his life – and the lives of others.

You play a vital role in this success.

“My life before the AIDS Taskforce was quite bleak. Because of this organization, my life started to turn around and I found employment and a cause I was truly meant to advocate for. I found friends I will have for the rest of my life.”

We need you to continue our great work with young people like Michael. As you know, the AIDS Taskforce has been serving the needs of the HIV/AIDS community faithfully since 1983 – the oldest organization in Ohio doing so. Your financial support is the strength that keeps our organization alive and ready for anyone who needs us. Without you, other young people like Michael would have nowhere to turn.

The challenges before us are immense. Increased funding is needed to support the continued growth in our workload. When you support the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, you make an investment in the lives of our clients. It is an investment that continues to pay significant dividends for kids like Michael.

Please give generously right now using the enclosed reply card – or call us at 216-621-0766. You can ask for John Farina or Rebecca Strong and they will be happy to help you with your contribution. As always, you may contact me at any time.

Thank you, on behalf of Michael and everyone here at the AIDS Taskforce.

Tracy Jones
Chief Executive Officer