PLWHA (NSW) suggests you should get out more -” and by selling their stickers you’re sure to meet interesting people.

At this time of the year, people’s thoughts generally turn to the approaching Mardi Gras festivities. We approach February as if it’s Christmas and let’s face it, we just wanna have fun.

But it’s at this time we should really stick together and spare a bit of time and energy giving something back. Naturally, BGF bucket-waving is still ongoing but the fight to help people living with HIV/AIDS doesn’t just centre around AIDS Awareness Week each November-December.

Perhaps it’s for this reason alone that People Living with HIV/AIDS has just this week launched a new campaign asking for volunteers to help raise funds for its organisation.

PLWHA NSW traditionally sallies forth on the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras launch night (in the Opera House forecourt) and again at fair day to sell stickers for the many PLWHA projects which are not government funded.

Shades of 11 September are apparent in the PLWHA posters, but rather than red, white and blue, the colours that form the backdrop to Uncle Sam imploring you to join PLWHA’s tireless army of volunteers are turquoise, white and hot pink.

We wanted something bold and brassy to grab people’s attention and that was the inspiration, says PLWHA executive officer Antony Nicholas. So yes, there were -˜shades of 11 September’ but really, we’re just trying to remind people that we want you to get involved.

Nicholas also reminded people that selling stickers on the launch night would not affect people’s enjoyment of the festivities. We only collect up to the start of the launch, so if you get involved, you only have to get donations for an hour or two and then you can relax and enjoy the shows.

Around 65 volunteers assisted in 2001 to raise over $12,000, but in 2002, PLWHA hopes that at least 100 people are out in force. Nicholas said that in past years, given that Mardi Gras estimated a crowd of about 30,000 at the launch, PLWHA’s takings averaged at around 30 cents per person. A dollar isn’t much though, he says. If every single person gave just one dollar each for a sticker, that is $30,000 -“ which would be fantastic.

There is no better way to experience the magic of a Mardi Gras launch night than if you’re involved -“ even in a little way. All those smiling faces passing you on their way to the Opera House steps are reason enough to be involved, and fair day and the launch are not only the two major highlights of the season, but also the only times when some lesbians and gay men venture out to witness the SGLMG experience. Who knows whether Ms or Mr Right might be amongst those popping coins in your bucket?

 

If you would like to help, please contact Will Klaasen on 9361 6011. PLWHA (NSW) is also always looking for new volunteers with a cross-section of skills, knowledge and life experience to provide assistance to staff and board members. Phone 9361 6011 for info.

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