Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Tis the Season for Giving, Despite Tight Holiday Spending’

TUCSON (Observer Update) - We can all learn a little bit about the season of giving and the importance of supporting our great community, even in challenging times, from the children at Henry Elementary. Once again, for the 14th year in a row, Henry Elementary School will be collecting gifts for families of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) and the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN) as part of the annual Holiday Project.

“During this holiday time of year, it’s important for us to keep the spirit of giving alive, especially for our clients with children,” says Scott Blades, Executive Director of the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN). “We have faith that our community will step forward and help brighten the holidays for those living with HIV/AIDS, and their children.”

The 2008 Holiday Project provides clothing and gifts for over 50 families each year, including almost 100 children this year. Most of the clients served by SAAF and TIHAN live on low to very-low incomes and cannot afford to meet their basic needs for food and shelter much less holiday gifts. For others, the holidays can be a lonely time. The Holiday Project gives parents living with HIV an opportunity to choose from donated gifts for their children, allows children to select a gift to give their parent(s), and provides gifts and holiday cheer to homebound individuals.

According to the San Jose, California Business Wire “Despite a tough economic environment, the holiday season is still a time for giving back. Paypal’s 2008 Holiday Survey conducted by Ipsos, states that nearly three quarters (73%) of online shoppers intend to give to charity this season, compared to 60% in 2007.” “Although these projections sound good, we know that people are feeling the effects of the economy. We’re facing a time when strengthening community giving will sustain community programs and services and important projects like this one, says Wendell Hicks, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, we’re asking for community support to ensure that no one gets left behind this holiday season.”

“Henry Elementary School is proud to partner with SAAF for this wonderful event. It’s been an honor to support this cause in the past and we are proud to carry on the tradition this year”, says Jonathan Ben-Asher, Principal of Henry Elementary School. “Our school abides by four rules: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Caring. Working with SAAF is a great way for us to exemplify our expectations and show Tucson how much we value our community.”

To find out more on how you can help this holiday season with a holiday gift drive or to sponsor a family, please call TIHAN at (520) 299-6647 or SAAF at (520) 628-7223.

No comments: