Recently, Nancy Young, a longtime ACS supporter, fondly shared this about her friend, Keith. “He was my movie buddy, and my beach pal growing up. I envied his ability to play any song by ear. When he joined the army after high school, we lost touch. Several years ago, I heard that he had contracted AIDS and died. His family was so embarrassed that they didn’t tell anyone what was happening, and they didn’t even visit their son in the hospital. So, he died alone. I was devastated to think that my dear friend died feeling no one cared about him, because I did. I decided that I never wanted to see anyone live with HIV or die from AIDS thinking that no one cared about them. That’s why I became involved as a contributor and a Board Member with AIDS Care Service.”This story and others are still a reality today. You may have a similar story that has prompted you to learn more about ACS. With the continuing love and care from our community, we can ensure that people suffering from AIDS get the support, nutrition, and security they need to pull their health together.
John was comfortable in his life as a successful plumber in the Triad. He worked hard and enjoyed being active in his church and spending summers in his brother’s swimming pool. After friends and family expressed concern about his recent weight loss and tired appearance, he decided to go to the hospital, worried that he had cancer. Instead, John was immediately admitted and later told he had advanced HIV.
Weighing just 88 lbs, John was introduced to the support of ACS. The day he pulled into Holly Haven he remembers thinking “this is way nicer than I ever could have imagined.” After recovering at his own pace and regaining his health and weight, John now lives in his own apartment and volunteers at the ACS food pantry once a week. Being a part of ACS has allowed him to recover the sense of productivity that he once enjoyed.
AIDS Care Service Founding Director and longtime supporter, Larry Roth, recalls that “20 years ago we had a vision to build a home to decrease people’s suffering and fear, allowing them to die with dignity. Today that home is a catalyst to turn people’s lives around. ACS has expanded its support and services to make sure people living with HIV have a life of opportunity far into the future.”
Today, annually, we help over 450 individuals living with HIV in our community to preserve their health and restore their quality of life. Our housing program and food pantry provide ongoing security and basic needs for over 600 individuals living with HIV, and their families.
This year, ACS celebrates 20 years of services, while recognizing the support from our community that has helped transform countless lives and has allowed so many others to pass in peace. We hope you will celebrate with us and help AIDS Care Service continue the compassionate and critical work so important to the survival of our community.