Last weekend, as the world marked the thirtieth anniversary of AIDS on June 5th, I was in Las Vegas.
Jewelers for Children (JFC) is a philanthropic organization made up of businesses and individuals in the jewelry and watch industries, and has been a longtime Foundation donor. We are one of its four original charities, and each year we attend this dinner as the culmination of JFC’s year-long fundraising efforts on behalf of children.
This year, the Foundation created the short video below to show at the dinner and to highlight the special partnership with JFC that has helped so many. The Foundation has been able to reach more than 11.6 million women around the world with medicines and services to protect themselves and their babies from HIV.
Jewelers for Children from EGPAF on Vimeo.
JFC has been with us ever since the launch of our international programs. In 1999, it was one of the first private donors to step in and invest in our mission to end new cases of pediatric AIDS around the world.
This was at a time when few people thought that we could successfully bring HIV prevention and treatment to regions like sub-Saharan Africa, which had recently become the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic. The Foundation believed we could do it, and we’re thankful that JFC also believed in us. So too are the millions of women and children around the world who now have a chance at a healthy future.
Dr. Agnes Moses. (Photo: EGPAF)
JFC also supported our Call to Action programs to bring PMTCT services to countries like the Congo
, and Angola. Since 2009, JFC’s contributions have supported our global HIV prevention and treatment programs to end pediatric AIDS.
Last Sunday, on the anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis, JFC announced its 2011 commitment to the Foundation: $500,000. That brings its total support to more than $7.5 million over the past 12 years. The Foundation is extremely grateful for JFC’s incredible generosity, and we are honored to partner with a group so dedicated to helping children in need around the world.
This Sunday, I’m in Los Angeles for the Foundation’s fundraisers, the A Time For Heroes Celebrity Picnic
. It’s one of the legacy events started by Elizabeth Glaser more than twenty years ago, when there was little hope for children with HIV in the United States. At that time, there were no medicines, no treatment, and no money for pediatric research.
So much has changed since those early days. We have virtually eliminated pediatric AIDS in this country, and we’re getting close to achieving this throughout the world.
I look forward to commemorating the next anniversary of the epidemic, when we can talk about pediatric AIDS as a thing of the past. With the continued support of donors and partners like JFC, that day will come soon.
Meegan McVay is the Foundation’s Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations in Washington, D.C.