Santa came early for 11 HIV service providers in southern Florida. They each received Holiday Hug grants from the Fort Lauderdale–based The Campbell Foundation, which funds unique evidence-based research in the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.
Ten groups each received a $2,000 end-of-the-year grant, while Broward House received a $5,000 hug earlier in the year after one of its assisted living facilities in Fort Lauderdale suffered major flood damage.
“Although funding HIV/AIDS research is our main mission, we believe that organizations that assist those living with HIV/AIDS provide important services to those who otherwise might not receive them,” said Ken Rapkin, the foundation’s executive director, in a press release. “HIV/AIDS doesn’t just impact someone’s physical and mental well-being, but many also struggle financially as a result.”
The grants help organizations continue to offer help at a time of year when many experience financial strains. “The Campbell Foundation’s Holiday Hug funding allows us to provide services that our regular grants do not cover—in this case, rides to non-emergency appointments related to HIV care and services,” said Stephen Fallon, executive director of Latinos Salud.
Holiday Hug grants this year went to the following HIV groups:
- AH Monroe in Key West
- BASIC NWFL in Panama City
- Broward House in Fort Lauderdale
- Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale
- Compass in West Palm
- Latinos Salud in Wilton Manors
- McGregor Clinic in Fort Myers
- Oasis in Fort Walton Beach
- Poverello in Wilton Manors
- Pride Center in Fort Lauderdale
- SunServe in Wilton Manors
Three of the organizations—Latinos Salud, Pride Center and SunServe—are eligible to receive matching funds from the Florida AIDS Walk from AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
In addition to its Holiday Hugs, in 2023, the Campbell Foundation provided nearly $255,000 in grants to these three research efforts:
- The investigation by University of Miami researchers of potential HIV vaccines using broadly neutralizing antibodies in adeno-associated virus;
- Philadelphia-based research into genetically modifying CAR-T cells to defeat HIV; and
- New York City–based projects examining whether human milk’s virus-killing properties can help prevent HIV.