Many AIDS Community Resources clients throughout its nine-county coverage area are counting on support from local communities to help them have happy holidays.
Deputy Director of Development Carrie M. Large said the annual Holiday Angels program could help as many as 250 clients this year, including some from the north country.
The agency is looking for people to become angels to purchase basic-needs items from a clients wish list. Items also include bedding and gifts for family members.
We do serve a lot of the poor, and they make decisions of, Do I buy food to put on my table, buy my (HIV/AIDS) medication or buy a present? Ms. Large said. Its just needed items, such as hats, jackets, winter boots to walk to school and even clothing to go on interviews.
Clients include those who have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Cayuga, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties. The high cost of AIDS medication and treatment, along with other financial strains, contributes to their participation in the annual program.
Program supporters may choose to help an individual or his or her family. Ms. Large said those who would like to help may tell an agency representative how much they would like to spend and they will be matched with someone.
Ms. Large said monetary donations are also accepted because the agency provides a food card for clients to purchase items for a holiday meal.
Those interested in supporting the program may call the agency at 475-2430. Items should be returned to the agencys offices in Watertown or Canton by Dec. 6.