The 23rd Annual Holiday Basket Program of The Aliveness Project, a community nonprofit that serves Minnesotans living with HIV/AIDS, is under way. It started in 1988 as a way to help HIV-positive members celebrate the season in the face of the challenges that come with a HIV-positive diagnosis.
For some people living with HIV, stigma and discrimination make the holidays a lonely time, while others are not able to celebrate for financial reasons—more than 72 percent of the people served by the organization live in poverty.
Last year, the Holiday Basket Program delivered gifts to almost 1,500 adults and children affected by HIV/AIDS in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.
One beneficiary of the holiday basket program remarked, “So many people have turned their backs on me, but you guys made me feel so much better—not just with the gifts, but with the Christmas spirit.”
Here’s how you can help:
Adopt a Basket We’ll send you a wish list of an HIV-positive Minnesotan, and you shop for the gifts. You can choose to adopt the basket of a single person, a couple, or a family with children. We ask that you spend about $35 on each member of the household. Wrap the gifts, and return to The Aliveness Project by December 17. Adoption is our greatest need!
Donate Money If you’re not a shopper, you still can make the holidays brighter for people living with HIV/AIDS. Simply designate your gift to the “Holiday Basket Program.”
Donate New Goods Host a holiday drive at work, your faith community, or school. We accept new clothing, small household items, toys, gift cards, nonperishable food, and hygiene items.
Bake or Sew Bake your favorite cookies (bag by the dozen), or sew quilts and holiday stockings, to go in gift baskets. Bring to The Aliveness Project by December 21.
Donate Time Hundreds of volunteers are needed to wrap presents; fill and deliver baskets; and take on other leadership roles during our Holiday Basket Program. We have short-term and long-term service opportunities for individuals, groups, and families.
Holiday Basket Kickoff Party Wilde Roast Café is hosting a Holiday Basket Kickoff Party on November 9, 4:30-7:30 PM. Donate a new hat or a new pair of gloves, and get a free drink. The first 25 people to donate $100 or adopt three baskets will get a $25 Wilde Roast Gift Card.
The Aliveness Project is at 730 East 38th Street in South Minneapolis. Call (612) 824-LIFE (5433), or visit www.aliveness.org to get involved today.