Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family! My name is John Forester and I am the Director of University Relations for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition (PAC) at UCLA. We are thrilled to start the year with such a fantastic General Committee and start raising awareness and funding for pediatric HIV/AIDS. Every Wednesday, we have our weekly GenComm meetings, after which we send out PACtivities. PACtivities summarize the meeting including important events coming up, forms to fill out, and announcements from various directors. This year we decided to create a new PACtivities edition for the public! Included in these monthly newsletters will be updates about what PAC is doing on campus and in our community, HIV/AIDS related news, fundraising opportunities and more!
How YOU can help PAC!
1. Shop online? Have some of that money go back to PAC when holiday shopping this year! Learn more below!
2. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to say update to date on all of our events!
3. Donate to a dancer or make a general donation! Donate here!
The Pediatric AIDS Coalition first began as Dance Marathon at UCLA in 2002 and is now the largest student-run philanthropic organization on the West Coast. Since its inception, Dance Marathon has grown from 20 committee members raising $27,000 to a committee of 150 planning an event that has raised almost $320,000 in 2018. In its 18-year history, PAC has raised over $5.5 million to support the group’s beneficiaries, which include the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, The Laurel Foundation, and the UCLA AIDS Institute.
PAC has expanded to include direct service projects and events that seek to expand knowledge of the pandemic within our community. Some of our programs include the “I Know” Awareness Campaign, a World AIDS Day event, Life Skills Retreat, and a year-round Mentorship/Family Program. Now, more than ever before, PAC committee members are fully immersed in the multiple facets of philanthropies combating HIV/AIDS.
Children at risk for mother-to-child transmission are extremely vulnerable in utero, during childbirth, and when breastfeeding. Without treatment, the chance of HIV+ mother infecting her child can be up to 45%. Today, with the help of antiretroviral medications and proper care during childbirth, doctors are able to reduce the chance of mother-to-child transmission to less than 5%.
Pediatric HIV/AIDS is a unique facet of the AIDS pandemic because it is virtually preventable. In 1988, nearly 2,000 children were infected with HIV every day. While progress has been made, due to a lack of resources and awareness, over 400 children continue to be infected each day. By educating the community, raising capital, and combating the stigma surrounding the syndrome, PAC is taking an active role in the solution. Together, let’s make an imPACt!
Help us fundraise!
This year, PAC has partnered with two companies: Campus Causes and iGive. Through these digital platforms, we can earn cash back for online shopping at our favorite stores—Nike, Walmart, Ray-Ban, Kiehl’s, and so many more. Register below and download the browser extensions to help us raise money for the cause:
Campus Causes – Team access code – 6QNGWV
iGive – UCLA Dance Marathon
We have also partnered with a company called DivvyUp that makes custom socks. For every pair that we purchase, we get $3 back AND a pair of socks is given to a homeless shelter. Sign up to buy a pair if you’re interested.
Dance Marathon 2019: EMBRACE
At the beginning of each year, the Pediatric Aids Coalition chooses a word that will embody the work we strive to accomplish, as well as touch on a relevant characteristic of our cause. This year that word is EMBRACE. Click here to learn more about our theme and how we chose it!
December 1st is World AIDS Day! All week long, the Pediatric AIDS Coalition will be hosting various cause education events. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated. Learn more about our events on our Facebook page! Click here!
On behalf of the Pediatric AIDS Coalition, we thank you so much for your time and support in our organization and our cause! We hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy your break!
Written by John Forester