Once again, The River Fund New York brought smiles to the faces of underprivileged children in the communities we serve by distributing hundreds of Easter Baskets as part of our 2012 Easter Giveaway—which included seasonal goodies of various kinds for all the families in need who come to our weekly Client Choice Food Pantry.
An average of 600 households line up every week at The River Fund’s pantry site located at 89-11 Lefferts Blvd. in Richmond Hill to receive groceries, produce, meat, dairy products and a variety of other items. On Saturday, April 7, 2012, through our Easter-Basket Giveaway, these families were able to participate in the joy of this Spring Holiday Season.
The month of April is also National STD Awareness Month. In fact, the third week in April is Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Action Week. On Saturday, April 14, 2012, The River Fund New York kicked-off this important period by distributing free STD Awareness and Prevention Packs to hundreds of families. Each pack included a wide range of high-quality, full-color, printed literature on the topic, specially selected by volunteers of The River Fund—in both English and Spanish—plus a supply of male and female condoms and personal lubricant.
Given its role in local communities—especially among families that are under served in their access to health information services—The River Fund New York takes STD awareness very seriously. Fully 40% of the population served by the organization is under the age of 18; and of that demographic, more than half are between 13 and 18 years old—the age when awareness about Sexually Transmitted Diseases requires the greatest emphasis. Unfortunately, when families are in dire need, it is difficult for them to prioritize the obtaining of materials on sexual health. As a result, there is a higher incidence of STD's and teen pregnancy in needy communities—often resulting in even more hardship. We hope the free distribution of our STD Awareness and Prevention Packs will help break this tragic cycle in the communities we serve.
The month of May also proved to be an exciting month for The River Fund New York: On Saturday, May 19, we honored National HIV Awareness Day by hosting a mobile HIV testing unit from AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC) at our site. This afforded some 560 families the opportunity to get free convenient and private HIV/AIDS testing while they waited online for food from our Client Choice Food Pantry.
The National HIV Awareness Day is an annual observance created by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Institutes of Health to recognize the thousands of volunteers, health professionals and scientists who work tirelessly on and educate our communities about preventive HIV research. Getting tested is the cornerstone of HIV prevention. The River Fund New York is proud to play a part in this vital effort.
During the month of May, The River Fund also launched its very first From Hunger to Hope fundraising campaign. The year-long project was kicked off on May 23, 2012, at 7:00p.m. at CATCH ROOF— one of New York City’s most exciting new venues, where several of our major sponsors hosted a fun night with free open bar and spectacular hors d’oeuvres from TV’s “Top Chef” Winner, Hung Huynh. Almost 400 participants have joined the campaign so far, and are celebrating with us 20 YEARS of feeding and empowering those we serve to move beyond the lines of poverty. Click here to learn more.As we now move forward into the second half of 2012, The River Fund New York is gearing up for the second year of our programs to keep at-risk youth off the streets during the school summer vacation period. In this regard, our primary focus will be our Summer Organic Gardening Program and our Community Youth Basketball Team—The River Fund Cobras. To keep these programs alive, we desperately need your ongoing support.
Thank you again for all your help.
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