One of my heroes, Georgia Arnold, is celebrating a birthday today. She is a people person in the best way possible and, this year, she will be unable to gather a group to celebrate her in person... to lavish the necessary and well-deserved birthday praise upon her... and this, well, this REALLY pisses me off. Because she has earned every toast, every topping off of her glass and every smile she can get.
But right now, with coronavirus concerns, having this happen face-to-face isn’t a possibility.
That’s why I’m sending a big, virtual birthday hug out to her: Georgia, can ya feel it? I hope so. As someone with HIV I feel such gratitude for your effective HIV outreach and educational efforts through your work as Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. From the educational grants that have allowed young people to educate about the virus in their own communities, as well as in the language (verbal as well as spiritual) that has the most impact, to the incredibly moving content of the scripted series, Shuga...
You, my dear, have not just saved lives: you’ve enriched them in the ways that matter most.
So happy birthday, Georgia. We are all lucky to be sharing this journey in life at the same time as you.
Below is a message from Georgia in regard to COVID-19 and how it intersects with MTV Staying Alive’s mission.
---- click here to learn about the small ways that you can support MTV Staying Alive Foundation -----
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to develop, the safety of our staff, peer educators and beneficiaries is our top priority. We are actively monitoring news around Coronavirus and are taking steps to help keep everyone safe.
We at the MTV Staying Alive Foundation are especially concerned for those with compromised immune systems, including people who are HIV+ or diagnosed with TB, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. The delivery of clear and accurate health information to the communities that we’re able to reach has never been so important.
This isn’t an easy time for anyone, and as with many other charities we’re seeing a significant impact on our ability to fundraise.
But our vital work in storytelling to save lives must continue. We create ground-breaking content with proven impact on young people’s health and are exploring the ways that we can use our established, successful methods to digitally distribute health information in relation to COVID-19.
While we welcome donations in this difficult landscape, we would also like to suggest these small ways that you can support us and our work, all from the safety of your own home and just with the click of a button. For example, our partnerships with Amazon and The Giving Machine, detailed below, allow you to raise money for us, for free whenever you’re buying products online, meaning you can make donations even while doing shopping on the sofa.
These are uncertain times, but we are determined to rise to the challenge and continue our work to ensure that young people everywhere have access to the life-saving health information they need.
With well wishes to you and your loved ones,
Executive Director, The MTV Staying Alive Foundation