KCA Community, Our Sunshine
By: Monica Merlis | June 28th, 2016
Sunday, May 1st – 6:30 AM wake up call. Outside, it’s misting. Today, I won’t be riding in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, but I want to give our team an encouraging send-off. I put on my neon running jacket, lace up my sneakers, and run to the train. I get to the starting line and meet with our brave riders – first time, tandem, and seasoned alum. It’s raining heavier now, but the rain won’t stop them. They trained hard to get to this point and all I can do is say thank you. Together, they raised $16,497 for our programs. Ensuring that a baby will have access to life-saving HIV treatment, a young person living with HIV will be provided with a supportive environment to thrive, and a mother will gain the skills she needs to support her family.
Sunday, May 15th – another 6:30 AM wake up call. Outside, there are hints of sun and a cool breeze. I hoist a bag full of KCA t-shirts on my shoulder, grab two cases of water bottles, and head down the stairs. Today, I’ll be walking alongside 50 KCA supporters and over 30,000 other HIV and AIDS activists for AIDS Walk NY. Walkers start arriving and picking up their t-shirts at the meeting point. The energy is high and people are looking forward to the 6.2 miles ahead of us. Along the way I spend time speaking with our team members, some new and some old. It reminds me why I love working for KCA. The connections. Although our programs are over 7,500 miles away, our supporters feel so deeply connected to our work and can feel the impact that they are making. Together, our team raised over $49,000 with a portion of that staying locally to help communities affected by HIV right here in our city.
Tuesday, May 17th – no alarm, I wake up naturally at 7:47 AM. Outside, I walk with a mass of balloons hoping the subway won’t be too crowded. Today, is our Night of Gratitude. It’s the moment where we get to thank the incredible KCA Community for all of their recent efforts. Music is playing, wine is poured, and guests start to arrive. Hugs are happening, smiles too. Alana, a member of our programs team, shares a story about Shakirah, a young mother living with HIV, who makes the most of the services provided by our partner in Uganda. She is just one example of where the money that the KCA Community raises is going. The energy is high and the vibes are positive. There is nothing better than giving back.
Thank you so much, KCA Community. Thank you for sharing us with your friends and family, for making us a part of your lives, and for being committed to the end.
We’d love for you to join us in our commitment to the end of AIDS. You can take action by spreading the word, starting your own fundraiser or simply making a donation. Click here to join us.