Thanksgiving to World AIDS Day

Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the power of a virus to ravage lives. Thank you for extending compassion to every human being, protec...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

“Support My Cause” – A Poll

The world is full of caring, compassionate people who commonly perform heroic feats far from the media spotlight but lately, “causes” seem to be moving to the foreground. Maybe it’s our new President’s community organizer background or perhaps we simply become more empathetic when our own health or well-being is threatened. Whatever the motivation, people are responding by picking up their torch and reaching out to others to do the same.

This blog is all about my cause, my motivation and my invitation to join. Now I want to hear from you. What motivates you to take up a cause?

Today’s inbox held an email from First lady Michelle Obama with an invitation to participate in a National Health Care Day of Service event near you. Did you click to attend?

Have you ever started a Facebook cause? Why? What do you hope to achieve through that application?

How do you respond when a Facebook friend invites me to join their cause? Do you join out of friendship or go further – read the cause home page? Add a comment? Recruit others? Make a donation?

My poll (top right) refers to the Facebook model but can apply to any appeal from friend or stranger to support a cause. Please take the poll, share your comments – anonymously or otherwise – and we’ll find out the answers together.

7/07/09: There just weren't enough "clicks" to make the poll statistically valid but results received showed that 100% would join when invited, 40% would pass it on or donate $$, another 40% would go no further and a few would get personally involved. Your comments continue to be welcome!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What if I Told You

HIV was stopped in its tracks?

It was…very recently, in the small Virginia lab of Dr. Yuntao Wu, moving his research one step closer to clinical trials.

Dr. Wu’s research is innovative, his lab staff enthusiastic and they jumped a full year ahead in their timeline with proceeds from the 2008 inaugural NYCDC AIDS Research Ride.

Dr. Wu and his staff return this September to journey with me and 50 other cyclists from Manhattan to our Nation’s Capitol. When Day2, Inc. first discovered Dr. Wu, his lab needed only $200,000 to bridge their research needs while waiting to secure a much larger NIH grant. With your help, we’ll easily meet that goal.

Read this message on my blog for complete access to background links, pictures and updates throughout the year.

Many thanks for ALL your support of me and the cutting-edge HIV/AIDS research funded by this ride. YOU make the difference!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

That Thing You Do

Last December a friend emailed to ask if I wanted to ride Lifecycle with her this year. She’d recently lost her job and thought it’d be good to focus on something positive.

A few months earlier, my fellow Puget Sound Riders decided to ride NYCDC in 2009 but not before a lengthy discussion about fundraising in a depressed economy. Fundraising fear isn’t new. The topic comes up more often this year but the end result has changed. I’ve talked to a half dozen riders who considered their options and instead of shying away from the asking, came away more committed than ever to the cause. That’s not just AIDS riders.

More people than usual seem to be walking and swimming, running marathons, relays and triathlons. They’re raising money in memory of loved ones and complete strangers. They do it to fill empty days and empty souls. Mostly, they do it because they can.

People are giving. Volunteering is up. Young and old are doing what they can to make a difference. Maybe it doesn’t come in the form of $$ but certainly from the heart. Givers to my rides have held bake sales and car washes, hosted dinners and auctioned treasures, forwarded my emails asking friends to join in the giving. Some mail me stamps or a note of encouragement.

Giving hasn’t declined because we have less. We see a greater need and choose to give more…because we can.