Today is World AIDS Day.
Sounds overwhelming. The brain has a tendency to want to glaze over that…shun the thoughts it brings to mind. Sickness, suffering, death. It’s easy to pause for a moment, read the articles on the subject, look at the red web pages and red ribbons, feel sorrowful…then turn away.
33.2 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide. 22.5 million of them are in Africa. HIV/AIDS is currently the leading cause of death in Africa. We read that and think, “That’s really a shame.” But not knowing what we can do about it—other than feel bad and maybe say a prayer for the situation—we turn away, and move on with our lives. After a couple days, we won’t see it in the papers anymore, and it will be life as usual.
Yet in many areas of the world, mothers are living in fear that they will pass the AIDS virus on to their children. The resources that may protect them are often not readily available. And in places where AIDS is a real and present threat, something as simple as clean water can protect a child’s life…or save one.
So what does that mean for us on this side of the globe? Maybe we feel moved to do something—how can we help? One way is to keep doing what we normally do—but in a way that will make a difference.
For instance, Holiday Shopping. Have you finished your list yet? Who has?? As you do your gift shopping over the next few days, I encourage you to go to eBay.com and enter the keyword term TWBW in the search bar. TWBW stands for “Thousand Wells Blood Water,” and is the acronym of Art for 1000 Wells, an international group of artists and artisans who have come together to offer their original creations for sale on eBay—all with the purpose of raising funds for Blood:Water Mission’s 1000 Wells Project. The 1000 Wells project is building one thousand clean water solutions in one thousand African communities—they are saving lives, and actively fighting against the spread of the AIDS virus. I invite you to check out Blood:Water Mission’s website to learn more about this organization. If you would rather make a donation directly to the cause, you can do so on the website.
Art for 1000 Wells ends on the night of December 4th. There’s still time to give original art as a meaningful gift this holiday season. You can know that your gift will really be giving twice.
And you can also be encouraged in the thought that you didn’t turn away.