The Main Stream

Jan 10, 2012 12:38 PM

Local organization that supports HIV/AIDS patients needs volunteers

TUCSON - A local organization that provides support services for people living with HIV/AIDS is looking for volunteers.

The Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), will conduct its first 2012 Volunteer Orientation on Saturday, January 28th from 8:30 am-12:30 pm.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States today. Each year, an estimated 40,000 people become newly infected with HIV. In Pima County alone, more than 2,300 people are living with HIV/AIDS.

For the past 17 years, TIHAN has been educating and activating volunteers and faith communities to help support those living with HIV and their families and loved ones, as well as to educate and remove the stigma attached to this disease.

"We're seeking caring volunteers who are interested in making a difference," said Scott Blades, TIHAN's Executive Director. "There are many ways people can help-being part of a support system for those living with HIV, assisting with fundraising events, doing data entry, cooking meals, providing advocacy-it's all needed, and TIHAN seeks to connect caring people with ways they can make a difference."

More than 500 people living with HIV have received support from TIHAN's programs. TIHAN's Poz Cafe lunch program, the largest regular gathering place for people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Arizona, recently served its 15,000th meal. TIHAN offers an array of support programs, including transportation, social and emotional support, advocacy, linkages, nutritional support, and CareTeams.

Volunteer opportunities range from receptionist positions, to outreach and education, to active support for people living with HIV/AIDS in Tucson. Volunteer training and positions are open to all people, regardless of faith affiliation.

High priority volunteer needs include: volunteers to provide advocacy and emotional support, front desk receptionists, cleaning assistance, HIV education and outreach, fundraising support, and social networking assistance.

Pre-registration is required by January 25th, and there is a $17 fee to cover the costs of food and materials. Full and partial scholarships are available. The orientation will take place at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 2331 East Adams Street - near Speedway and Tucson Boulevard.

Volunteer Application packets are available online at www.tihan.org .

For more information about TIHAN or to sign up for the Volunteer Orientation, contact Scott Blades at (520) 299-6647 or scott@tihan.org .

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