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National AIDS Memorial and AT&T Launch First-Ever Text-to-Donate Campaign to Raise Critical Funding to Support AIDS Programs and Youth Awareness

  • Beginning December 1st – on World AIDS Day – Text the word "HEAL" to "501501" from any mobile carrier device to make a $10.00 donation to National AIDS Memorial
  • Donations to support the National AIDS Memorial and its youth awareness and education programs

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As people from around the world come together to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1st, the National AIDS Memorial and AT&T are teaming up to help raise awareness and funding for programs that support the nation's AIDS memorial.

Through a month-long text-to-donate campaign, "A Time For Hope; A Time for Healing" beginning on World AIDS Day (December 1st), AT&T is making it possible for any mobile subscriber regardless of carrier to simply text the word "HEAL" to "501501" to make a $10.00 charitable donation to the National AIDS Memorial.

All donations to the text-to-donate campaign will support the National AIDS Memorial year-round mission to honor and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS; continue to create and maintain a permanent memorial grove located in San Francisco as a place for healing; and expand youth awareness and scholarship programs to inspire the next generation of leaders to help find a cure for the pandemic, now in its 30th year.

"We appreciate AT&T's commitment to AIDS-related programs and for their leadership in supporting the mission of the National AIDS Memorial," said Executive Director John Cunningham. "It has been more than thirty years since the first diagnosis of AIDS and while there is great hope ahead, our struggle continues as we search for a cure and continue to raise awareness about this devastating pandemic that still today, impacts so many lives each year."

The "A Time For Hope; A Time for Healing" text-to-donate campaign is being supported by AT&T, which is covering all set up, texting fees and other costs associated with the program, which will be administered through the Mobile Giving Foundation.

"AT&T is proud to be part of this important texting campaign around World AIDS Day to help raise critical funding to support the National AIDS Memorial and the programs it administers to honor those impacted by AIDS," said Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California. "The work of the AIDS Memorial is year-round and impactful, helping to increase awareness, educate and encourage youth to be engaged in this important issue."

The campaign will officially start in conjunction with World AIDS Day ceremonies sponsored by the National AIDS Memorial that take place on November 30th and December 1st at the Memorial's beautiful Grove, located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The events bring together more than a thousand supporters to pay tribute to those touched by the AIDS pandemic, honor leaders in the movement and demonstrate international solidarity. The text to donate campaign runs until December 26, 2012 and $10.00 donations can be made by texting the word "HEAL" to "501501" on any mobile device regardless of carrier.

Light In The Grove, November 30th: On the eve of World AIDS Day, more than 700 supporters of the National AIDS Memorial will gather in its Grove for Light in the Grove, a special evening of remembrance, renewal and commitment for loved ones lost to AIDS. Much of The Grove's 7 acres will be illuminated to honor both the sense of loss and celebrate the spirit of light and life. The event will honor William D. Glenn and Prescott W. Hafner with the Light in the Grove Award for their tireless dedication, philanthropic commitment and decades of inspirational leadership support, hope and comfort to so many people and AIDS-related organizations through the years.

World AIDS Day, December 1st: Dignitaries from throughout the nation will gather to mark World AIDS Day at The National AIDS Memorial. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who through her leadership helped create the National AIDS Memorial and is a long-time supporter and volunteer, will be awarded with The National Leadership Award during the observances. Gina Gatta, a long-time advocate of HIV/AIDS programs and services will receive the Local Unsung Hero Award. The event will take place in the Memorial's Grove with more than 800 people gathering for ceremonies that reinforce the link between the San Francisco community's historical significance in the epidemic and the National AIDS Memorial as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. The National AIDS Memorial will also award scholarships to college-bound students as part of its Youth Development Scholarship Program, which is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

"We come together today to pay tribute to all those we have lost, and all that we have held on to - our hope, our optimism, our steadfastness and our determination to continue to fight against this disease and to support those affected by it," Leader Pelosi said. "It is humbling to be honored by the National AIDS Memorial. In this beautiful city, we turned heartache into hope by establishing the Grove as a healing sanctuary, by immortalizing the fight against AIDS, and by treasuring the memories of those we have lost and of those who continue to fight."

Twenty years ago, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was at its worst in San Francisco, volunteers gathered to form the Grove, seeking out a place to create a setting where those impacted by AIDS could both grieve and begin the process of healing. Over the span of the past two decades, more than 18,000 individuals have contributed over 120,000 volunteer hours to convert a once-derelict part of Golden Gate Park into the country's only federally-designated AIDS memorial.

The National AIDS Memorial received the honor of being designated the official national AIDS memorial in 1996, in large measure because of the leadership of Congresswoman Pelosi who helped pass legislation that was signed into law by President Clinton, elevating the Grove to be of the same stature as the nation's other 43 federally designated memorials. The National AIDS Memorial is located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park at the corner of Nancy Pelosi Drive and Bowling Green Drives.

To learn more about World AIDS Day ceremonies at the National AIDS Memorial, the text-to-donate campaign and programs visit www.aidsmemorial.org or by calling (415) 765-0497.

Contact: Kevin Herglotz
415-963-2601
Kevin@hpastrategies.com

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Source: National AIDS Memorial