The Issue: Limited Resources for Youth Affected by HIV/AIDS
A total of 325 Shelby County residents were diagnosed with HIV in 2010, and 181 were diagnosed with AIDS—a rate 2.5 times higher than the state rate for that year, according to data from the Shelby County Health Department. HIV disproportionately affects low-income people, according to additional data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poverty, combined with the high cost of medical care, can limit opportunities for families living with HIV/AIDS to plan recreational activities or family outings. This combination of factors means that children whose parents are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are often unable to experience traditional childhood activities, such as going to the zoo or exploring cultural resources outside their own neighborhood.
The Campaign: Funding a Field Trip for HIV-Affected Youth
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Hope House can provide a field trip—including transportation, food, and attraction admission—for 15 children affected by HIV/AIDS, along with 10 parents and teachers as chaperones. Each additional $500 raised will provide another field trip for 15 children and 10 adult chaperones. All of the children have a parent or caregiver who is HIV positive or who has already died from AIDS-related illnesses; some are HIV positive themselves.
Together with the children's teachers, a Hope House staff member will pick a local field-trip destination that aligns with the current classroom curriculum, such as a zoo, museum, or farm. Related educational activities and lesson plans will help build up excitement for the big day. All of these children come from low-income backgrounds; many rarely travel out of their own neighborhoods. Hope House's field trips are designed as memorable, educational escapes from everyday life, where the children can broaden their horizons with new experiences and hands-on activities.
Catering to the unique health and social needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS and their parents, Hope House offers a welcoming respite for families whose lives have been torn apart by illness. Among their many services, staff members support children aged 6 weeks to 5 years with therapeutic daycare and preschool lessons and aid parents with rental-assistance programs and advocacy services to defend their legal rights. Counseling and support groups help clients learn to manage grief and fear of social stigma, whereas 24-hour emergency care, medical referral, and immunizations for youth help keep medical care up to date. For parents aiming to gain self-sufficiency, Hope House also provides GED and life-skills classes that can help lead to better employment opportunities.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.