I haven’t done an event where I’m supposed to raise money before (at least not in my recent recollection). For some reason I felt the urge to have the AIDS walk be my first event. I like encouraging people to give money to good causes but it’s not often I actually ask for money myself (there was IsupportMeera). Here are a few of the reasons I’m encouraged to do the AIDS walk here in Nashville and why I hope you might consider sponsoring me.
I became aware of the AIDS pandemic in the world shortly before college. Seeing the statistics and reading about the lack of resources to address the problem, I grew increasingly interested in helping. It seemed AIDS in the USA had gone from a hot topic and serious concern, to almost off the radar screen of our media. I think this was due to the drugs created that helped inhibit the onset of the virus and helped those with HIV lead fairly healthy lives. But as news in the USA decreased, slowly I was beginning to hear about how quick the virus was spreading overseas. We didn’t respond fast enough. There is quite a charge to deal with AIDS globally, with the much supported ONE campaign lead by, U2 singer, Bono. We need to keep AIDS in the forefront of our minds, we cannot forget our global neighbors.
After moving to Nashville I quickly was made aware of the major change in the state health care program, TennCare. Starting August 1st about 300,000 people where cut off from their health care access and many where seriously reduced in their prescription options. If you know about AIDS treatment at all you know that you NEED to take a number of treatments at once (a cocktail); and you NEED to take them consistently. And if you get sick at all you need to go see a doctor. Well those suffering from AIDS who where cut or reduced from TennCare are in a terrible situation. Joining the AIDS walk will help raise crucial funds for meeting the needs of those with AIDS in Nashville.
Finally, there is a personal note to this. When I was in sixth grade my uncle died. He lived in Texas (we lived in Wisconsin) and at some point he got really sick and my dad flew down to be there with him. He seemed to young and healthy to just get sick and die like that, and for a long time it remained a mystery in my mind (though, I guess my parents told me). I sort of put the clues together as I got older and after graduating high school I asked my dad about Uncle Jiffy. He died from AIDS. I always wish I had been able to know him better. The more stories I hear about him, the more I wish I had the opportunity to know him better while he was alive. I’ve never done anything to really honor my uncle, I’ve never really outwardly acknowledged his dying of AIDS. I love my uncle and I miss him.
This AIDS Walk is in honor of my Uncle Jiffy.
So if you didn’t notice the news yesterday or this morning there was some direct interaction between those raising concern about the TennCare cuts and Bredesen himself.
Somehow Bredesen was the keynote speaker at a convention about Health Care, as if he has the answer for everyone.
I joined others passing out flyers that gave some information about the other side of the story, things the folks at the convention didn’t hear from Bredesen’s lunch address.
If you haven’t seen the mainstream media’s look check it out:
The Tennessean has some photos.
Click on the video right below Bredesen’s photo
All this to say:
Please come to our Town Hall Meeting Tonight!
Madison Public Library
610 Gallatin Pike
Hear the stories of TennCare recipients who have been cut from TennCare.
So I was calling a bunch of churches to tell them about this TennCare Town Hall Meeting, and I had two interesting responses.
First, nearly 90% of the churches I called nobody answered and I had to leave a message on a machine. I realize that many churches don’t have enough staff to have a full-time phone person, but still. I mean isn’t a churches main point to meet the needs of the people (It’s not a business, it’s supposed to be a community of people, more on this later)? What if I was someone with a real immediate need and the only place I felt I could find help was the church? I guess I just find that sort of sad and disturbing.
Second, I called this one church and started asking if the lady on the other line knew anyone in their church who was on TennCare. She said “no” so I just started to inform her about this meeting we were having regarding the TennCare cuts. She just kept inturpting and saying, “we’re not interested,” “goodbye” and she hung up on me! I decided to call back and when I did she passed the phone off to the pastor. I went into my most compelling arguement that as Christians we are called to care for those in need in our community and that this Town Hall Meeting was an opportunity for Christians to hear about the needs of those in their community who had been cut from TennCare. He was decently cordial and he said he would make an announcement. Maybe it’s cause it sounded political and a lot of churches are afraid of being involved with anything like that, but I was quite troubled that a person from a church would hang up on me while I was talking about people in need in the community.
I’m glad to say not all Christians are like that, and those who aren’t I’d encourage you to come out Next Tuesday (August 9th) 6-7:30pm at the Madison Branch Public Library 610 Gallatin Pike S.
See you there.
note: I submitted my blog to NashvilleIsTalking.com a sweet blog run by a news station (actually by Brittney) that just blogs about bloggers in Nashville (Like me!). Which means:
WELCOME MY NASHVILLE FRIENDS!
My own welcome to Nashville about a month ago came right in the midst of the State cutting off TennCare (the state’s health care program) for hundreds of thousands of people. Not a very nice thing.
I’m not a politician or anything, but I guess I basically think that a humane and justice society would take care of it’s sick and dying members. And so as a vocal citizens in a democracy I’ve raised my voice and called for reform that would keep those in need receiving the care that they need.
Now my Nashville family, you might be thinking: “The system is corrupt anyways! I heard about this guy who lived in Alabama who was on TennCare and pocketing tons of money! My friend said she heard of a guy who just used his TennCare to get drugs to get high on. We don’t want people like this taking our money.”
and some of those things might be true.
But Here’s your opportunity: Come out to a Town Hall Meeting and hear the stories of actual TennCare members. Hear how these cuts have affected those who are sick and some who are dying in our midst. Hear their stories.
6PM to 7:30 PM
August 9, 2005
MADISON BRANCH PUBLIC LIBRARY
610 Gallatin Pike S.
Nashville, TN 37206
Get Directions to It…
*Sponsored by the Grassroots Organizing Committee and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center