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People Helping People
Walk to raise funds to help people living with HIV/AIDS in state

It's time to quit talking the talk and start walking the walk. Your support is needed now more than ever.

Let's get back to basics and fight the disease that affects more than 40,000 Americans each year.

It's that time again. AIDS Walk Atlanta is fast approaching and here's a friendly reminder that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic that affects thousands of people in Gwinnett County alone.

AIDGwinnett, the service organization that provides medical care, housing meals, and case management to people living with HIV/AIDS in Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties have once again joined AIDS Walk Atlanta to raise much needed funds to continue providing these critical services.

Established in 1990 by a group of concerned parents and individuals, AIDGwinnett also serves the community by providing HIV testing and prevention programs specifically targeted to the youth and the disenfranchised in the area.

AIDS Walk Atlanta, a 5 kilometer fundraising walk-a-thon is the Southeast's largest AIDS fundraising event, raising almost $1 million dollars last year for people living with HIV/AIDS in Georgia.

AIDGwinnett began participating as a benefiting organization to the AIDS Walk in 1994. Since that time, volunteers with AIDGwinnett's Team have raised more than $350,000 to use within its service area. One hundred percent of the proceeds stayed in Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale.

Volunteers with AIDGwinnett know the only way to ensure the money they raise comes back to their county is by walking with AIDGwinnett Team 1002.

While Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton businesses may walk as their own separate team, this money may never affect or make an impact on the lives of their own neighbors living with HIV/AIDS.

Unfortunately, many businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations do not realize the funds their groups work so hard to raise may not be helping people in their own area. We can all be certain our dollars are making a difference by registering with AIDGwinnett-Team 1002.

Starting now and in the coming months AIDGwinnett Team 1002 Volunteers will be out in the community recruiting sponsors and walkers.

"We are currently in the organizational phase of the walk in which several volunteer committees are coming together to develop all facets involved in this year's efforts," AIDGwinnett Team Leader Travis White said. "A lot of energy is focused on recruiting more volunteers as well as area business and individuals to support the 2007 AIDS Walk, which in turn helps to maintain programs such as AIDGwinnett in assisting our community."

The Walk is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Atlanta's Piedmont Park. Thousands will gather to help fight against HIV/AIDS. Join your neighbors and become part of the cure.

By registering today to walk with AIDGwinnett Team 1002 you will make sure that critical HIV/AIDS programs and Services are continued in your communities.

To register to walk with AIDGwinnett, call 678-990-6440 or visit www.aidgwinnett.org.

Or, come join us at our next meeting, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at AIDGwinnett, 3075 Breckinridge Blvd., Suite 415, Duluth, GA, 30096.

To donate, send checks made payable to: AID Gwinnett, 3075 Breckinridge Blvd., Suite 415, Duluth, GA 30096.

"People Helping People" is a weekly column written by the executive directors of nonprofit organizations in Gwinnett County. Today's article was written by Larry Lehman of AIDGwinnett.

Need help or know someone who does? The Gwinnett Helpline directs callers to the appropriate nonprofit agency. Call 770-995-3339.