FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – This past year has been exceptionally challenging for many nonprofit organizations that provide services to the HIV/AIDS community. From HIV testing, to the provision of healthcare, these organizations continued to serve their clients in new and creative ways despite the pandemic.
To help off-set the costs, The Campbell Foundation, which funds HIV/AIDS research, offers HIV/AIDS service organizations a “Holiday Hug” in the form of an unrestricted donation. The organization has been providing these end-of-year grants since 1996, allowing recipients to use the money in any way they see fit.
This year, the foundation awarded eleven organizations $3,000 each, for a total of $33,000.
Recipients included Latinos Salud, which offers HIV and STD screening, among other services, in Wilton Manors and Miami. The organization picked up where others left off because of COVID-19, says its Executive Director Stephen J. Fallon, PhD.
“Since many other providers were closed, our lab costs hit three times normal expenditures. The Campbell Foundation’s “holiday hug” helps us continue to serve the community with free services, so that this year, we will exceed 5,000 community members tested, and all who are diagnosed, get linked into lifesaving care. We are so grateful to the Campbell Foundation!”
At SunServe in Wilton Manors, which provides critical life assistance and professional mental health services to the LGBTQ community, Executive Director of Operations Gary S. Hensley, said the agency saw a significant decline in donations due to COVID-19.
“We could not continue to help the thousands of people who reach out to us without your support. There has never been a better time to help fund SunServe’s innovative programs to include: Senior Day Care Center, youth, women’s services, housing, and mental health, to name a few,” said Hensley.
Julie Seaver, Executive Director at Compass Community Center in West Palm Beach, said her organization was able to provide food pantry cards to its LGBTQ youth program members and their families with the grant money. Other “Holiday Hug” recipients this year include:
• AH Monroe (Key West)
• Basic NWFL (Panama City)
• Broward House (Fort Lauderdale)
• Care Resource (Miami-Dade and Fort Lauderdale)
• Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (Fort Lauderdale)
• Comprehensive Care Clinic/Broward Health (Fort Lauderdale)
• FoundCare (West Palm Beach)
• McGregor Clinic (Fort Myers)
The Campbell Foundation’s primary mission is cure research, but the organization also recognize how important it is to help those who are living with the disease.
“The pandemic has impacted everyone in a variety of ways. For nonprofit organizations, it has created an even heavier burden,” says The Campbell Foundation’s Executive Director Ken Rapkin. “Most in-person fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed and the nonprofit sector has dealt with decreased donations; we are very proud of our community partners for continuing their efforts to help those living with HIV/AIDS, especially since much funding has been shifted to COVID-19 research and vaccine development.”
The Campbell Foundation is preparing to celebrate its 26th anniversary in February 2020. Because of COVID-19, the organization likely will be celebrating it in a more “virtual way,” so stay tuned.
“No matter how we mark the occasion, we look forward to continuing our mission of funding HIV/AIDS research as well as helping those in the community who, every day of every week, provide much-needed services to those living with the disease,” says Rapkin.
About The Campbell Foundation
The Campbell Foundation was established in 1995 by the late Richard Campbell Zahn as a private, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It focuses its funding on supporting alternative, nontraditional avenues of research. As the Campbell Foundation prepares to celebrate its 26th year, it has given away more than $11 million dollars, with nearly $1.3 million of that going to direct services.